Over 1,000 retailers will now be able to improve their store security thanks to a Home Office grants scheme.

As part of the Retail Crime Action Plan, £5m was allocated to help retailers make store upgrades such as purchasing CCTV systems, security systems, safes and alarms. Retailers who were success in their application are now set to receive their funding.

As well as the 1,000 retailers, 72 partnerships of small businesses and local authorities also benefited from the scheme enabling them to improve the security of their neighbourhoods through lighting and alarm systems.

“This fund was set up to provide real help to the small businesses that need it the most, and I am delighted that more than 1,000 retailers will benefit from the increased security these grants will provide,” said Home Office minister Alan Campbell. “It is just one part of the government’s work to target the crimes that affect businesses, especially during an economic downturn.”

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman welcomed the allocation of grants money. “From having studied a number of the applications for this grant funding as part of the board that was responsible for this, we know first-hand that this money will be going to provide practical help to retailers and the communities they serve.”

Lowman added that co-operation between retailers and a local agency is necessary to help protect businesses. “If there is one lesson that we have learned from this process, it is just how crucially important partnership working is to effective crime prevention,” he said. “By working with local agencies and other retailers, local stores can make genuine headway in tackling crime.”
The allocation of these grants couldn’t be timelier as the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) urged all retailers to review their security strategy. NSI spokesman Julian Stanton advised retailers to evaluate their current security measures and not to cut back on cost when installing a new system. “Whilst many businesses may be watching their expenditure in the current economic climate, cutting back on security spending could be short sighted,” said Stanton.