Posted on 2nd July 2014
Bakewell retailers tuned into their ShopWatch radios to help catch a criminal as part of a planned police training exercise.
Officers from the Bakewell Safer Neighbourhood Team worked alongside BusinessWatch Manager, Andy Watterson from the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, June 24 to run the training for local retailers.
The training exercise involved a mock scenario being created to highlight how the system effectively works. A description of an individual was sent out over the ShopWatch radio which then saw the retailers using the system to alert other stores, before guiding police to intercept the ‘would-be’ shoplifter.
The session was held to increase confidence and awareness of the ShopWatch scheme which directly links retailers via radios to each other and police to allow them to share information on suspicious behaviour or incidents of crime immediately.
PCSO Hayley Grundy from the Bakewell Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “ShopWatch has been a great tool in helping us tackle shoplifting in our area so ensuring that retailers know how to effectively use the system is vital.
“The radios give retailers and staff a direct link with each other and the police so that if they see something suspicious they can alert us quickly and officers can attend the scene to stop a crime from happening.
“The scenario training went really well and all of the organisations involved seemed to enjoy it. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to work alongside local businesses to increase their confidence with using the ShopWatch radio and we plan to hold more training exercises later this year.”
BusinessWatch Manager, Andy Watterson added: “The Bakewell ShopWatch scheme is going from strength to strength and is a valuable tool for retailers. The aim of the mock shoplifting exercise was to help new members to familiarise themselves with the radios and how to use them, whilst offering a refresher for the more seasoned members.
“The exercise went exceptionally well, with the majority of the retailers taking part and relaying information between themselves and the police, enabling them to catch the suspect in good time.
“The success of the test serves to demonstrate that Bakewell is not a ‘soft touch’ when it comes to crime and I hope that the members, both new and old, found it worthwhile.”
The scheme, which is run by police and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, requires shops to pay a small annual free when joining the scheme to cover costs of renting the radio kit, charger docks and other items.
Shops signing up to the scheme are also given posters and signs alerting customers that they are part of the ShopWatch initiative.
To speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood Team call 101, the non-emergency number for Derbyshire police.