AT least 30 businesses in Armadale and Kelmscott are needed to take part in an Australian-first trial project to help combat crime in industrial areas.
Each business will need to pay $100 a month to rent the sophisticated electronic equipment at the heart of the project.
The Operation to Stop Crime Action Network (SCAN) was launched earlier this year and is a co-ordinated partnership between City of Armadale, WA Police and the local business community.
Business Armadale president Paul Harrison said there were lots of positive benefits about the scheme and encouraged businesses to get involved.
“There is a similar project in the United Kingdom and another in the United States and it’s the first one of its kind in Australia,” Mr Harrison said.
Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said the trial would introduce an ‘inter-business’ radio network as an instant communications method linking business.
“When an offence occurs, businesses can use handheld devices to communicate information immediately over the radio network,” Cr Zelones said.
“Local businesses will be provided with mobile handsets to hire at a cost of approximately $100 per month including operating costs, which can be claimed as a tax deduction.
“Initial enquiries and meetings with local businesses interested in the project indicated they are more than happy to pay this fee.”
The information conveyed includes a description of the person of interest and the offence type which allows others in the network to know what is happening and where.
However, Cr Zelones said its implementation had been delayed because of attempts to source a reliable digital network provider in the Hills area, to which a dedicated channel will be allocated to operate SCAN.
“The proposal is in response to request from local businesses for more direct support from local police and Public Transport Authority (PTA) security staff,” Cr Zelones said.
The City’s role is in assisting the link between business, police and PTA security.
Cr Zelones said an updated report has been presented to the Board of Business Armadale, who will disseminate the information to their business members who can then apply to participate in SCAN.
“Following this, information sessions will provide training in use of the device including what the device is capable of performing,” he said.
“For example, the device has a duress button for assistance, tracking and recording systems.”
Mr Harrison praised City of Armadale for the initiative and said it could also help police gain more evidence to help with convictions.
Comment News asked the City how many businesses have signed up to initiative so far, but did not receive a response to the question.
If the program is successful in Armadale it is hoped it will be rolled out to other business districts across the metropolitan area.