A host of Heanor retailers have joined the Amber Valley Shop Watch, providing a direct link to police which has already brought results.
Another 16 radios have been distributed to stores across the town last month, to allow for rapid information sharing across the network about suspicious incidents, anti-social behaviour or crime.
Funded by the Amber Valley Community Safety Partnership, the initiative aims to prevent and target retail related offences and increase consumer confidence about shopping safely in the borough’s town centres.
Sergeant Lynsey Curtis, who is in charge of the Heanor and Loscoe Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We want Heanor, and other towns within the Amber Valley, to remain a safe place to shop and the Shop Watch scheme has proved to be valuable time and time again, especially as more stores sign up.
“It’s a real boost to the scheme to have these new radios, and will help to ensure that we maintain a good and direct link between the police and retail staff in Heanor.”
The radio network has already helped police to track down and take action against two people for shoplifting offences.
Lee Wayne, 47, of Hucknall, was arrested and charged with stealing fishing equipment worth £259 from Boyes, on Market Street, on Friday, January 6.
Police found he was also suspected of a further six shoplifting offences by Nottinghamshire Police.
He was sent to prison for 18 weeks because of his lengthy record but this was suspended for 12 months, on condition he has treatment for drug dependency.
Then a 35-year-old man from Somercotes has been reported for summons after he was caught stealing three bluetooth speakers from Boyes store on Monday, January 23.
Sgt Curtis said: “Shoplifting is an issue that not only affects our local businesses but can also have an impact on other people visiting the town.”
Amber Valley Borough Councillor Jane Orton, cabinet Member for community safety, added: “I am delighted that these new radios have proved such an immediate success.
“This demonstrates how the scheme enables shopkeepers to help tackle crime and make our towns a better place to do business and safe for residents and visitors.”
As well as the 16 radios in Heanor, the network covers Alfreton, Belper and Ripley.
Retailers interested in becoming part of the Amber Valley Shop Watch scheme should contact Amber Valley Community Safety Partnership on 01773 841652.