GO FORTH Stirling is launching a pilot Shopwatch initiative to help the city’s retailers and café owners tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
The project aims to mirror the success of Stirling’s Pubwatch scheme which offers pub and club owners a fully digitised communications system so they can share information, photographs and intelligence with each other.
Go Forth, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID), plans to facilitate a digital radio system for Stirling’s retailers, café owners and any other organisations affected by anti-social behaviour.
The move would link day-time economy businesses with each other – plus the police, the Thistles and the city’s CCTV system – and give them the opportunity to work together.
Danielle McRorie-Smith, Project Director at Go Forth Stirling, said: “We’re launching a pilot Shopwatch scheme for the day-time economy which we hope will be just as successful as the Pubwatch initiative has been for the night-time economy.
“This is an important investment which will make a significant difference to communications between businesses and build confidence in Stirling’s economy.
“We’ve been listening to concerns from retailers about crime and anti-social behaviour and believe this project will be a good solution giving them the capability to work together in a quick and secure fashion to help make our city as safe as possible.
“We have a great café culture in Stirling and some amazing independent retailers and they could really benefit from being linked and able to quickly and easily communicate any problems with each other.”
Go Forth will subsidise a network of two-way radios for BID businesses and voluntary levy payers who want to join the Shopwatch scheme and organise a training and information session for those involved.
They will also introduce regular meetings – similar to those held by Pubwatch members – where retailers can discuss concerns and share intelligence about criminal or anti-social behaviour problems they have encountered with each other, police officers and relevant partnership organisations.
The BID is also working with Retailers Against Crime (RAC) to give independent traders access to a crime-fighting system which sends real-time alerts when thefts and other crimes are happening in the city.
The SentrySIS system allows business owners to report incidents so they can warn others and create evidence logs to help police detect offences.
Ms McRorie-Smith added: “We already have several businesses signed up to the Shopwatch pilot and would like to see at least 15 in total involved to ensure the system works as effectively as possible.
“We will also train the businesses to work with the SentrySIS system so they can alert fellow traders to real-time incidents and gather vital information for the police and youth justice teams who are working to combat anti-social behaviour.
“I hope many of our independent traders will join Shopwatch and collaborate with us and other business owners to help make Stirling an even better destination for visitors, residents and businesses alike.”
Any business owners who want to register for Shopwatch or find out more about the plans should email email@example.com
Go Forth Stirling BID represents more than 600 business owners with a key objective of increasing visitors to the city and devising initiatives to help make it a more welcoming environment for businesses and shoppers.
For more information, visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk