A radio system linking shops in Bakewell with police has hit the airwaves – and saw a suspected shoplifter detained within three hours of switching on.
Retailers and hoteliers who sign up to the scheme in the town centre are given radios that allow them to communicate with each other and the local policing teams.
The idea is for them to boost security in the town by letting shop owners and staff share information about suspicious behaviour or any incidents of crime.
Bakewell’s ShopWatch scheme, which is run in conjunction with Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, was launched on Wednesday, December 19 in time for the Christmas rush.
And within three hours of the radios being switched on, a call was made to police from Bakewell Safer Neighbourhood Team to report suspicious activity.
Officers responded immediately and detained a man on suspicion of shoplifting at the town’s Co-Operative supermarket.
PC Phil Maycock, from the team, said: “These fantastic pieces of kit are a great way for us to stay in constant contact with our retailers and to keep Bakewell a safe place for them and for our many visitors.
“While the ShopWatch scheme is not designed to replace the 999 or 101 system, it is still an essential and clearly effective tool for us to combat crime.
“We simply will not tolerate shoplifting or theft in our town and ShopWatch has already proved its worth in helping us to tackle the problem.”
The Bakewell ShopWatch scheme follows the successful introduction of similar set-ups in towns across Derbyshire, including Matlock and Ashbourne.
Anyone retailers interested in signing up to the scheme should contact the Bakewell Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.
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