A mini-crime wave in the heart of an award-winning Dales town at the weekend has caused alarm - but the police are already following up lines of enquiry.
Most of the recent break-ins, attempted break-ins and vandalism have taken place either on or near the Pateley Bridge's lovely high street, which was hailed as the best in Britain less than two years ago, winning the Great British High Street competition.
Constable Bill Hickson of North Yorkshire Police, based at Pateley Bridge Police Station, said there had been two burglaries and an attempted burglary.
Despite the bad news, PC Hickson said the town’s overall crime figures remained low.
He said: “This series of incidents is very unusual for Pateley Bridge and local residents and businesses are naturally concerned about it.
“Nidderdale has a low crime rate, In terms of crime rate Nidderdale is a very safe place to live in and to visit.”
The incidents of the weekend of April 6-8 are all under investigation and PC Hickson said he was following up lines of enquiry identified after speaking to witnesses.
Pateley Bridge town centre has also suffered from an outbreak of vandalism recently with bridge lights and a cast iron being thrown into the Nidd, as well as graffiti in the ladies public toilets.
Some local youths have been spoken to by the police about the attacks and one young man was cautioned for criminal damage late last year.
PC Hickson said there were typically 10 to 20 crimes of all classes recorded per month in the whole of Nidderdale.
Approximately 30 burglaries, involving both business and residential premises, including out-buildings, were recorded in the combined areas of the three council wards covering Nidderdale for the entire year.
PC Hickson said: “As the community beat officer for Pateley Bridge I am disappointed that the police were not able to prevent these crimes in spite of the fact that this is a very low crime area.
“It is vital that the local community remains vigilant and promptly reports any suspicious activity to the police.”
In the past at least some of the reported burglaries have been laid at the door of criminals coming into the area from outside the county.