ST ANNES’ innovative shop radio alert scheme is being extended to local pubs.
The radio link to other shops and the police started some 10 years ago and was one of the first of its kind in the country.
It has proved such a success that the police have asked St Annes Chamber of Trade, who supervise the scheme, to help broaden it out to licensed premises.
A police spokesman said: “The scheme originally covered local shops as it allows them to communicate quickly with each other to report any problem customers, as well as being able to get in touch with the police.
“With the support of the local Chamber of Trade, this scheme can now be extended to cover licensed premises in the area.”
John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade, said: “It makes sense to extend the scheme to pubs and we fully support the plan. We will be delighted to help any way we can.
“We are proud that the shops link was one of the first of its kind in the country and it has certainly been a big help to shopkeepers’ security over the years.
“Once the shops close, the radio network is inactive from their point of view, so the link might as well be used by the pubs to aid their communication with each other and with the police. It’s a great idea.”
Penny Mercer, owner of The Grind skateboarding shop in Orchard Road, St Annes, said: “The radios have been great and I am sure they will work well in the pubs.
“We noticed a huge difference, particularly in shop-lifting rates, from about a year after the radios came into use and there are very few problems these days.”
The pubs will pay an annual licence fee for use of the radios, which will also automatically entitle them to be members of the Chamber of Trade.
Stuart Hiley, general manager of the Town House, St Annes, said: “The scheme will be extremely beneficial in allowing us the chance to solve problem in real time.
“Up to now, as quick a response as we get from the police, sometimes it just isn’t quick enough.
“The direct link is very welcome.”