A NEW radio system is linking shops in Grays as part of an anti-crime plan.

Shop Safe radios have been handed out to shops, cafes and restaurants in the town centre to help traders share information and intelligence to help thwart would-be criminals.

It is hoped the scheme will crack down on all forms of crimes across the town, making it a safer place to shop.

Council leader and cabinet member for public protection and anti-social behaviour, Rob Gledhill said: “These radios will help shops work together, stay in touch, keep one another safer and share intelligence in real-time.

“This co-operation will create a situation which makes it extremely difficult for thieves to operate and will ensure those that are bent on committing antisocial behaviour offences in Grays are apprehended more quickly.

“The radio system is just one of the measures we have been able to introduce thanks to over £625,000 additional funding for Grays through the safer streets scheme.

“Combined with the additional Community Engagement Officers we have patrolling the town centre and the improvements we will make to street lighting and CCTV, we are helping to create a safer and more prosperous town centre in Grays.”

Chief Insp Mark Barber, from Essex Police, also welcomed the new project, and believes it will make a difference.

He said: “This is another example of how partnership working can really help to tackle crime.

“This is about showing criminals that all agencies and local businesses are working together to tackle crime and will be able to share information through this new launch.”