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MEMBERS of the horseracing community have been urged by police to tighten security over fears a criminal gang is targeting their industry in North Yorkshire.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police have made one arrest and are hunting another two men in connection with what they believe is a co-ordinated campaign to prey on the racing world in the county.

Police have warned racehorse trainers and other workers involved in the industry to review the security arrangements at both their homes and businesses amid growing concerns they could be targeted by the criminals.

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A brief statement was issued yesterday by North Yorkshire Police which confirmed that a man, who lives in the county, has been arrested.

However, a spokesman refused to disclose any more information after claiming the ongoing investigation is at a “sensitive stage”.

The spokesman said: “We have arrested one local man and are actively seeking at least two others.

“We believe we have disrupted the intentions of these people to steal or rob.

“We ask for people to be vigilant, take sensible precautions and to report any suspicious activity to the local police.”

North Yorkshire is renowned around the globe for its strong links to the horseracing industry, with leading trainers operating stables centred around the towns of Middleham and Malton.

Police officers in North Yorkshire have been laising with officials from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), which is the governing body of the sport, as part of the investigation.

Details of the investigation have also been circulated to police forces across the country, although the Yorkshire Post understands that their inquiries remain centred on North Yorkshire.

A spokesman for the BHA, Robin Mounsey, said: “The BHA has received information from North Yorkshire Police about potential threats to racing property in the area.

We will be disseminating this information to all licensed individuals in the region.”

Anyone with information about suspicious activity is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on the non-emergency number of 101. Details can also be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.