Uniting to fight city centre crime

Sheffield BID is helping to tackle city centre crimeSheffield BID is helping to tackle city centre crime
Sheffield BID is helping to tackle city centre crime
Sheffield BID is working with Sheffield City Council to fully digitise the city centre's crime radio network.

The City Retailers Against Crime radio network has already proven to be a valuable and successful mechanism for preventing crime and shoplifting. But, of the 154 subscribers to the network, 40 were still using out-dated analogue radios. Now, Sheffield BID has stepped in to ensure the network is fully digital by replacing these with state-of-the-art digital handsets.

CRAC radio is used by 154 businesses in retail, hospitality and the night time economyacross the city to share information about shoplifters and people known for anti-social behaviour. The network provides its subscribers with a direct link to the council's CCTV operators, who will contact the police if the incident requires more support. The digital radios are fitted with voice recording software which could be used as evidence against offenders, have a back up to ensure they can still operate during a power cut, and have enhanced security encryption to ensure the network is safe. They also have better reception, so the network can expand to areas of the city centre that couldn't receive a signal previously, and enhanced audio quality compared to the analogue radios.Better battery life and better waterproofing will ensure the radios are durable, whilst some handsets are fitted with GPS location tracking for staff safety. Increased analytics on the digital radio will provide an opportunity to see h ow often the network is used.

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Matthew Burdett, Sheffield BID police sergeant, said: 'CRAC radio provides businesses with a fast response from CCTV operatives, who can monitor incidents and allocate a city centre ambassador or notify police if required.

'The digital system gives users access to the Business Crime Portal, which provides intelligence and pictures on some of the city centre's most prolific offenders, as well as providing an opportunity to report crimes and incidents.'

Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID manager, added: 'Sheffield BID is committed to making the city centre safer for businesses, their staff, and customers. CRAC radio helps businesses to share  nformation with each other, the council and the police. By improving the network, we hope to support businesses tackle retail crime and anti-social behaviour.'