ORGANISERS are “delighted” with businesses' uptake of newly provided state-of-the-art radios, as Andover Business Improvement District (BID) celebrates its scheme hitting a major milestone.

In October the BID officially launched its new digital radio scheme, giving its members access to brand new radios, free of charge, as part of an initiative to help reduce crime in the town centre.

And the organisation has now issued a total of 50 radios as part of the scheme.

BID manager, Steve Godwin has also announced plans to introduce a “confidential app”, set to launch in the New Year, which will allow Pubwatch and Shopwatch users to share data with one another.

Ian Souch, manager of Andover Leisure Centre, was the recipient of the landmark 50th radio.

He said: “I am delighted to be part of the scheme and see this as a really positive step forward in good communication and partnership working aimed at helping to reduce crime in the town centre.”

The leisure centre’s radio is to be held daily by the duty manager and will allow for effective two-way communication from the site.

The radios were introduced in a bid to tackle crime in Andover town centre, not only by catching criminals but also by helping to prevent thefts before they happen in the first place.

And the next stage of the scheme’s development is set to come into effect in January.

Steve added: “From a BID perspective, the radio system was something our members asked us to provide in the town.

“We have been delighted with the take up from retailers, pubs, late night establishments and the leisure sector and we look forward to a further development in January, which will be a confidential app allowing data sharing for users of the Pubwatch or Shopwatch scheme.

“The app has been developed as an aid to business to allow and encourage secure and confidential data sharing which can be managed on a laptop, tablet or phone and is aimed at reducing crime.”