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Shopkeepers launch radio link to beat thieves

PUBLISHED: 18:47 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 October 2010

SHOPKEEPERS have signed on for alert’ boxes with silent radio links to tackle raiders and thieves in London’s East End.

The 50 traders are installing the boxes, about the size of transistor radios, which they can use to warn each other about suspicious characters along Roman Road in Bow

SHOPKEEPERS have signed on for 'alert' boxes with silent radio links to tackle raiders and thieves in London's East End.

The 50 traders are installing the boxes, about the size of transistor radios, which they can use to warn each other about suspicious characters.

Each box has a 'warning' button that they hit to call for help or alert neighbouring shops should there be a security threat, such as someone acting suspiciously or in a threatening way.

The box sends a silent signal through a digital wireless network to neighbouring traders along Roman Road in Bow who then take appropriate action.

The system was being launched today (Wednesday) in Roman Road Market by a traders' partnership with Tower Hamlets council.

Florist Leona Rogers, has already tried out the 'alert' box to summon fellow retailers who came to her aid.

"I felt so much better when the others came to help," she said. "The 'alert' box makes me feel a whole lot safer. It's like having an invisible police officer in the shop."

The box, which has already been effective in 17 other areas of London, is also being used to encourage a 'sense of community' among East End shopkeepers.

Now the local authority is hoping the pilot scheme will extend the whole length of Roman Road as far as Bethnal Green two miles away if it can get more Neighbourhood Renewal funding from Whitehall. Eventually it could spread to other East End shopping precincts such at Whitechapel and Poplar.


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