Shops reeling from the Brixton riots will be the first in the UK to benefit from a new weapon helping to identify and convict yobs.

Lambeth Met Police is expected to sign up next week to the crime-fighting database Facewatch, The Grocer understands, working with Tesco, Halfords, McDonald’s and a string of smaller grocery stores.

The new database-driven crime website allows ­retailers to post moving and still images of CCTV footage, file police witness statements online and alert others to criminal activity for as little as 99p a week.

The service will be offered to every retailer with CCTV in the borough.

The police may even use the database to convict ­rioters involved in last week’s riots.

Facewatch is also in talks to roll the system out across Greater Manchester, which was also affected by the rioting, said founder Simon Gordon. “Facewatch involves everyone in the fight against crime rather than leaving it all to the ­police. We are in discussions with a number of forces and boroughs.”