In a new move to reduce crime of Soho's business district, shops are now able to view each other CCTV footage in real time and communicate via digital radio.
Businesses signing up to the scheme will be able to watch suspects through a secure online portal, ensuring easy identification and arrest of persistent offenders. The scheme gives local businesses the information they need to be vigilant against crime and familiarise themselves with known offenders. The new system also ensures that people working with police and the council to stop offending will not be targeted, as long as they continue to use the support available to them.
The Safer Soho partnership has implemented this new online tool as part of their aim to reduce drug use and tackle the sleazy image often associated with the area. The high tech digital radio system links businesses directly to a CCTV control room and the police and are equipped with panic buttoms for emergency use. This system offers peace of mind for business owners and staff and is the largest digital radio scheme of its type in the UK.
Cllr Daniel Astaire, Westminster Council’s Cabinet Member for Society, Families and Adult Services, said: “Soho is a colourful, vibrant and unique part of the city, home to restaurants, bars and shops and hosting thousands of residents, businesses and other visitors every day. This use of CCTV is just one of the measures we are taking while working hard with local residents and businesses to crack down on this illegal activity, whilst still preserving the unique character which has made Soho so famous.”