A NEW crime-busting partnership between traders and the police has been set up in Wadebridge.
Ten businesses have so far signed up to the Shopwatch Radio scheme, and the police hope more will do so in the near future.
Devon and Cornwall Police have funded the project, which provides radio communication between shopkeepers and local officers.
The radio sets will be used to tackle a range of issues from suspected shoplifters to missing children.
Police Community Support Officer Pete Sobey, who helped set up the scheme in the town, said that the radios placed in participating shops would provide a quick and efficient way for traders to communicate with each other and for any information to be passed directly to the police.
PCSO Sobey said that, although incidents of shoplifting were not common in Wadebridge, the radio sets could be used to alert other traders and the police that thieves were active in the area.
"The only incident we have had recently was when £200-worth of vintage clothing was stolen from a charity shop.
"Now that the ten shops have received their radios, one can warn the others of suspicious characters in the area.
"A radio will also be carried by a police officer who is patrolling the town.
"The scheme has other benefits, too. If a child goes missing, or if someone has left a wallet or something else of value in a shop, radio communication is the quickest and most effective way to pass on information to others."
Devon and Cornwall Police provided £1,000 of funding for the radio sets, and shopkeepers pay a £2 per week maintenance charge.
"This is just the start of the scheme in Wadebridge and we are hoping more businesses will join soon," said PCSO Sobey.
One of the traders who has signed up to the initiative is Emily Cholerton-Perry, who runs jewellers Savage & Co, in Molesworth Street.
She said: "It's a fantastic scheme.
"Obviously, we traders try to communicate with each other to keep everyone informed, but now, with the new radio system, we can do that much more quickly, and we can also get an instant response from the police."