Retailers have until September 30 to take advantage of a government grant to help fight crime.

As part of the Retail Crime Action Plan, set up by the Home Office, retailers in 50 priority locations around the UK can apply for a grant of up to £3,000 to improve security in their store by adding CCTV, an alarm system or dye packs for tills.

Retailers can also join with neighbouring businesses to apply for a grant of up to £50,000 that can used for security lighting or landscaping to improve the overall security of an area.

National Federation of Retail Newsagents vice-president Parminder Singh praised the government's scheme and called on retailers to apply. "The high level of crime is one of our members' greatest concerns and this new grant scheme will enable members to take practical steps to improve their security," he said.

"I would encourage all retailers in the areas covered to take full advantage of the grants available to make improvements to their shop's security."

Singh also called for an extension to the deadline for applications. "Applications for grants have to be made by September 30, so anyone wishing to benefit should give this their urgent attention.

"While we welcome this positive initiative by the government we regret that so little time has been allowed to submit applications and would ask that an extension to the deadline is considered."