Bedfordshire Police has donated 50 radios to shop owners in Leighton Buzzard in a bid to help fight against shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.
Working with Leighton Buzzard Shopwatch, the innovative scheme was launched on Wednesday and will enable shop owners to have a quick and direct link between police and their fellow shop owners.
Sgt Louise Bates said: “My team and I are committed to tackling all types of crime, including crimes such as shoplifting which has a serious impact on businesses.
“We believe this initiative will be an excellent deterrent from shoplifting, it will allow the shop keepers to be able to communicate quickly between each other and the force.”
Chair of Leighton Buzzard Shopwatch, David Prior, welcomed today’s launch of this brand-new initiative between Shopwatch and Bedfordshire Police.
He said: “Shopwatch Radio Link sends a very clear message to anyone stealing from our shops that they will be identified and reported to the police.
“The radio link will enable all shops to talk and alert each other to what is going on, whilst at the same time alerting Central Bedfordshire’s CCTV Hub. Video footage of thieves and trouble makers will then be sent to the Police.
“I would also like to thank Supt Greg Horsford of Bedfordshire Police for agreeing to part-fund this. Without his help and that of Bedfordshire Police’s support for this scheme, it may have taken a lot longer to bring to fruition.”
Supt Greg Horsford added: “Our force presented the Leighton Buzzard Shopwatch with an opportunity to launch this scheme and I am happy that the Shopwatch met the challenge of finding 50 members to join us and work hand in hand on reducing crime in the community.”
Bedfordshire Police is seeking to maintain strong relationships with the residents of the county and with varied Watch Schemes.
Any community member can subscribe to the community messaging system Beds Alert for all the latest crime updates and crime prevention advice.