Two-way radio: a tool in the fight against business crime

Two-way radio schemes and their PTT over Cellular equivalents continue to play a vital role in underpinning the security and appeal of most town centres. Sam Fenwick takes a look

While the fierce competition between towns and villages and the keen civic pride that helps make such places attractive to visitors and residents made for rich satire in Hot Fuzz, the reality is that the shops, pubs and other businesses that call our town and city centres home have to work hard to ensure that shoplifting, petty crime and antisocial behaviour don’t eat into their bottom line and deter honest customers. Local Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs) and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) often play a vital role in this regard, and one of the most powerful tools in their arsenal is of course the humble but mighty two-way radio.

David Horton, managing director of M.R.S. Communications, which has more than 150 towns and cities operating with its StoreNet brand, says the high street’s use of PTT devices isn’t in decline – quite the opposite, in fact. “We had our biggest growth last year in the high street. That could be for many factors [such as] the perception and realism [around the] lack of police resources, [which is making people realise] that they have to do a little bit more [than before].” Horton adds that the market is changing. “Our radio networks [used to be] almost specifically for anti-shoplifting, they’re more now for personal safety – protecting yourself before an individual comes into your premises.”

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