Unwins' camera trials cut crime at worst stores

Unwins Wine Group has cut losses caused by theft at key stores by 99 per cent and brought three successful convictions, using broadband-based CCTV from Bell Security.

A trial took place at two of Unwins' worst stores for crime, both in southeast London. There has been no serious crime at either since February.

'There are two positive results,' said Unwins head of corporate risk management Mike Anderson. 'First it has cut loss; where there was robbery, theft and steaming gangs, it has got rid of that. Second, it makes our staff feel much more secure.'

Cameras are in permanent record in the shop, while panic buttons behind the counter alert the monitoring personnel at Bell Security to focus on the store. This person is able to assess the situation and can either make an announcement to inform people that they are being recorded or can call the police directly.

The system, now running at a third outlet, is being introduced to a fourth shop. In addition, between 10 and 12 high risk branches are to get the monitoring technology.

However, the retailer sees no need to introduce such surveillance at most stores. 'It is not cheap, but it is very effective,' said Anderson.