Retailers who applied for Home Office grants to help tackle crime will find out early next month if they have been successful.

More than 1,500 retailers have applied for grants since the £5m fund was first advertised in August. Individual businesses could receive up to £3,000 to buy security devices such as alarms, UV markers and security grills. Groups of businesses, such as parades of shops, can come together to apply for funds up to £50,000. These can be used to improve a neighbourhood with landscaping or the installation of additional lighting.

"I am determined to ensure small businesses get the support they need in these hard times," said Home Office minister Alan Campbell. "I am delighted with the response to the fund, which was established to provide real support to small businesses where it is most needed."