John Wood
A major trial of Raid Control, a crime deterrent system set up to help small retailers will be launched in Manchester next week.
Michael Todd, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, will launch the six-month initiative, which will cover more than 100 stores within the territory covered by his force.
Details will also be released about the first pilot scheme which started in Croydon, South London, last June.
Raid Control was devised by The Flying Squad's crime prevention co-ordinator DC Alan Townsend and Digby Ram, chairman of security firm IBP.
It offers retailers guidance on affordable steps they can take to deter criminals from targeting their stores, such as CCTV and controlling the amount of cash left in their till. Retailers achieving the required level of security are given police certification, and a poster to display which warns criminals about measures in place.
The trial in Croydon was set up when the police were looking to halt a spate of 14 violent robberies in a six month period. Results just released show since the trial began there have been no more robberies.
DCI Mark Stafford, proactive team manager at Croydon Police, said: "As street crime comes under increased pressure from active policing, the tendency may be for criminals to turn to what is perceived to be a soft target. Any initiative that makes such premises less attractive to would-be thieves is welcomed.
"Raid Control is good use of a crime prevention officer's time and the local storekeepers now feel supported. I would recommend it to other boroughs in the Metropolitan police and beyond."

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