Businesses in Shrewsbury are being encouraged to join a security network which helps keep the town centre safe.
The Shrewsbury Watch radio network connects businesses with Shropshire Council CCTV operatives, Shrewsbury Rangers and police when available, to quickly share information to prevent and respond to crime and anti-social behaviour.
The project is run by Shrewsbury BID, whose members say it is a very effective tool to keep staff and customers safe, prevent stock loss, reduce anti-social behaviour and protect the public.
Stephanie Mansell-Jones, business liaison at Shrewsbury BID, said: “The radio network is used both during the day by shop owners, and at night by hospitality businesses.
“It’s a vital way for traders and venues to talk to each other and communicate directly with CCTV operatives, town rangers, taxi marshals, other businesses and police when on shift.
“The system is used to monitor people suspected of criminal activity and pre-warn businesses if there are people in the vicinity likely to commit offences, recover stolen goods, and monitor vulnerable people to prevent harm.
“It’s also useful with the upcoming Protect Duty legislation, which will place more onus on businesses to protect the public from terrorism.
“We would really encourage any businesses not already part of the network to sign up – it’s an effective tool for preventing and detecting both low level and serious crime, and allows businesses to get involved with keeping the town safe and thriving.”
Chris Westwood, customer services manager at Shropshire Council, added: “The real advantage of this system is that the Shropshire Council-run CCTV operation in Shrewsbury is staffed and actively monitored in real time by very experienced operators, making it a very proactive and supportive system for the public and for the town’s businesses.”
Inspector Ben Tanfield, local policing inspector for Shrewsbury said: “We really appreciate the BID’s work in running this radio system. A direct radio link between businesses, the police and the 24/7 CCTV control room helps keep shop and pub staff safe and helps us to detect and prevent all sorts of crime.
“I’d very much encourage businesses to be part of the scheme and use the radios, alongside reporting crime via 101 and online.”
The radio costs the equivalent of £4.50 per week to hire from MRS Communications. Businesses who are interested in joining the Shrewsbury Watch network can email firstname.lastname@example.org