New 'Town Watch' radios prove their worth within a week of being issued to businesses in Wimborne

David Sidwick, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (left) and Wimborne BID Director Scott Fountain, owner of About Time and one of the beneficiaries of the ‘Town Watch’ radio grant.

By Andrew Diprose [email protected]

Published: May 20, 2024 | Updated: 20th May 2024

New security radios for Wimborne businesses proved effective within days of being issued.

Wimborne BID (Business Improvement District) was awarded a £5,000 grant to fund the radios.

The grant application was approved by Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick.

They allow businesses to communicate with each other to warn of suspicious activity and share live and immediate intelligence about crime and anti-social behaviour.

Radios have also been provided for the Town Council, BID, the town’s CCTV room and police.

In less than a week of being issued, the radios proved effective.

East Dorset Neighbourhood Policing Team reported that they were able to stop a repeat offender in the town’s Crown Mead shopping precinct.

Sgt Steven Payne said: “A male was detained having stolen from a local store and was in possession of several items that have been recovered.

“This male has been identified as being involved in several thefts locally and is being dealt with for all these matters.

“These thefts would not have been detected if it was not for the help of two local stores, the Town Watch radios system supplied by the BID and the willingness for shops to report thefts to the police.”

Tammy Sleet, BID Manager, said: “Our old radio system was just not up to scratch, so we looked to upgrade it, and we’re very grateful for the support of the PCC.”

The funding has allowed the ‘Town Watch’ radio infrastructure to be completely updated to a digital system to overcome past problems of signal reliability and sound quality.

The two-way radios are supplied by JS Communications in Poole.

Wimborne BID is using the grant to provide a subsidy for businesses to have the radios free of charge for six months.

David Sidwick said: “The radios are such a good initiative and part of the plan to drive down shoplifting and crime throughout Dorset.

“The PCC is delighted to support and partner with Wimborne BID.”

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