Small store owners will be able to apply for funding for new security equipment from this week.

The Retail Crime Action Plan (RCAP), set up by the Home Office, will provide funding of up to £3,000 per business in 50 priority locations around the UK, which can be used to buy devices such as alarms, UV markers to detect counterfeit notes, security grills and dye packs to mark goods.

RCAP also offers the opportunity for a group of businesses, such as a parade of shops, to team up with their local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) to apply for a £50,000 grant for added security measures such as landscaping or additional lighting.

Introducing the scheme, Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: "Businesses have a right to trade safely. In these current hard economic times we need to do all we can to make sure that retailers, particularly those on tight margins, are secure from the fear of crime, as well as actual crime against their business."

Retailer Raj Aggarwal runs two Londis stores in Leicester, one of the locations at which the grant will be available. He believes the scheme could be helpful to his business. "We have some excellent security features in place already, but anything that can be done to deter potential shoplifters or armed robbers would be great," he said. "Also the idea of working with other stores in the area to improve CCTV or lighting would be helpful to local police as well as retailers."

Find out if you are eligible for funding at