Robbery prevention initiative Raid Control has had a dramatic effect on crime at participating stores, resulting in a 90% drop in robberies - from 184 to 16 - in the past year.

Some 26 independent stores in the London borough of Brent will be next to join the police-led scheme this week, followed by 100 stores in West Yorkshire in April, including Leeds Co-op.

Raid Control chairman Alan Townsend said it had been great to stop so many robberies. “It’s helped people to feel safer and we’ve just been used as an example of best practice in the Association of Chief Police Officers’ gun crime preventative manual.”

There are now 250 premises taking part in Raid Control, with another 250 awaiting certification. The scheme requires retailers to adopt five crime prevention measures: staff training, cash minimisation, time delay systems, operating cameras and stolen cash traceability.