SMART radio scheme cracks down on retail crime in Melton

Pcso Andrea Kemp, of the Melton town centre beat team, with Julie Swayne, of JJs Lingerie in Melton, who is the SMART co-ordinator EMN-160604-120813001
Pcso Andrea Kemp, of the Melton town centre beat team, with Julie Swayne, of JJs Lingerie in Melton, who is the SMART co-ordinator EMN-160604-120813001
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A suspected shoplifter has been arrested after the successful use of Melton’s retail radio system – Secure Melton Against Retail Theft (SMART).

SMART ensures that any suspicious behaviour can be monitored by Melton Council’s CCTV and shared with retailers.

The system allows business owners in Melton to communicate with each other, to raise awareness of the activity of specific individuals and hopefully reduce retail crime.

For instance, if a person who visits Melton commits a crime, the SMART radio connection allows surrounding shopkeepers to be made aware of the individual’s presence, and the CCTV can also help trace the individual if they have fled the scene.

The council’s CCTV is monitored in Melton Police Station by police volunteers, and Pcs and Pcsos also monitor the radio and take action in emergency situations.

Most minor incidents are reported by calling 101.

Since its launch in 2009, the scheme has recruited and actively works with 39 retailers in Melton, holding quarterly meetings with its members to discuss progress and potential improvements.

The scheme is managed by Paul Appleby, of Melton Borough Council.

He said: “SMART has a multi-function approach. The police volunteers watching the CCTV can look out for suspected criminals, the retailers can report any suspicious behaviour and together we can try and reduce retail crime.

“There’s an exclusive list of convicted shoplifters which is circulated to participating members of the scheme to ensure that shopkeepers can closely monitor them during their time in each shop.”

Almost 50 businesses work with the SMART scheme and Melton PubWatch, which is a equivalent of the scheme for pubs.

The same radio system is used by the pub doormen to allow them to report any antisocial behaviour.

Mr Appleby is encouraging more businesses to sign up to the SMART scheme to help reduce crime.

If you own a retail business or a pub in Melton and would like to sign up or find out more about the SMART scheme, call Paul on 101.

l A woman suspected of shoplifting in Melton’s Boots store was arrested on March 22.

She was tracked through the town by shopkeepers with the use of the SMART radio system. She was bailed pending court action.