RETAILERS SET TO GET RADIO LINK TO BEAT TOWN CENTRE CRIME
January 17, 2002
Representatives from shops, including Marks and Spencer and Waitrose, joined Wokingham town centre bosses and police chiefs at the Town Hall yesterday (Tuesday) to discuss the proposals.
Mark Chapman, Marks and Spencer loss prevention manager, said: "We have a high proportion of bulk thefts in our Wokingham store and we're losing about £25,000 to £30,000 a year — this is totally unacceptable for a store.
"Most towns have CCTV and radio links so I would like to see some sort of way to go forward in Wokingham as we cannot always guarantee the police always being available.
"It's important for all retailers to work with each other and get stores to help respond to each other — we will all benefit."
Presentations were made by two security firms — Hugo International Telecom Ltd and Protec Security Services Ltd — which provided cost estimates on radios and the option of uniformed guards patrolling the town centre.
Wokingham Inspector Graham Garner was in support of the radio links.
He said: "If uniformed guards were brought in, we would be involved with the company providing it and work with Wokingham District Council to ensure controls were in place.
"We would also be able to help with financial support for the radio link scheme with town centre officers having a radio which they would have with them whilst patrolling."
Town centre manager John Bingham will now prepare a report of the items discussed at the meeting — including cost estimates — for distribution to retailers.