CRIME-CUTTING tactics which have made a York community a safer place to live have been outlined to residents.

Police officers who run the Safer Neighbourhood Team in Haxby and Wigginton say they reduced the number of offences – including criminal damage, antisocial behaviour and graffiti – by 13.2 per cent last year.

They provided details of four operations which have led to the drop in crime at the annual meeting of Haxby Town Council.

The meeting also heard how two new initiatives – a Shop Watch scheme aimed at combating shoplifting and a Pub Watch agreement between the area’s four pubs and the local working men’s club which bans offenders from all the premises – were making their impact.

The meeting, at the Oaken Grove Community Centre, also raised the possibility of a “booze ban” in parts of Haxby and the possible introduction of CCTV cameras.

Meanwhile, the town council also says it hopes the planned revamp of the Memorial Hall will “retain the character” of the existing building but “add new facilities.”

Caroline Rigden, treasurer of the Memorial Hall Trust and a member of the redevelopment committee said the intention was for planning permission for the project to be rubber-stamped next year.

A scheme to make changes to the Mancroft open space area is also on track. The town council has divided the field into two by installing a fence across the middle.

“One half will be a children’s play area and the other for dog-walking,” said a report.

“The town council has been offered a Playbuilder grant which will be used to purchase play equipment and the tender document is due to be sent out soon. The whole project will be completed by Match 2011.”

The town council has also seen a 1.7 per cent rise in the precept it receives from City of York Council for the work it does in the community and the schemes it aims to support, bringing the total to £89,000 during the 2010/11 financial year.