A NEW scheme has been launched to help York businesses tackle crime.

York Businesses Against Crime (YBAC) will take over from Retailers Against Crime in York (RACY) from Monday, and will allow retailers and businesses in the night time economy to join for the first time.

Members are being given new digital radios ahead of the scheme, upgrades from the previous analogue radios provided by RACY, which are linked to police officers and City Of York Council’s CCTV operators, as well as partner agencies including Street Angels, British Transport Police and the Ambulance service.

Councillor Linsay Cunningham-Cross, cabinet member for crime and stronger communities, said the council welcomed night time businesses for the first time.

She said: "Whether it’s shoplifting, vandalism or damage to property, we will not tolerate it in York.

“RACY has been a very successful group, and we want to widen the opportunity for more businesses to join in and take advantage of advances in communications."

Jim Curry, managing director of suppliers Apex Radio, said: “The safety of all when in York is a primary element for the way in which the digital radio system will be used in conjunction with CCTV, North Yorkshire Police and key agencies.”

The new organisation is being supported by the Association of Business Crime Partnerships (ABCP), and it will be overseen by a board of management with representatives from the retail sector and other businesses.

The updated scheme will also include an intranet to share information in real time between members and partner agencies, including images of perpetrators of crime against businesses.

For more information about the scheme, contact City of York Council.