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Barbican Unites to tackle crime using Icom Radio Network

Businesses on the Barbican, the historic heart of Plymouth and an important leisure destination, have banded together to set up their own version of the successful Pubwatch scheme using Icom radios.

The project, run in partnership with the police, is called BarbicanWatch, and will see pubs, and other businesses that sell alcohol, linked by a simple radio system. Utilising Icom’s IC-F15 handportable radios, the scheme predominantly uses one channel with a second channel reserved for users to contact the CCTV control centre. Many businesses have signed up to the scheme which will allow them to rapidly share information with each other. The idea is that if businesses are forewarned about potential troublemakers, they can then decide whether or not to allow individuals in. By coming together for the scheme, businesses will also have more power to act as a collective.

Matthew Perrott, Chairman of the BarbicanWatch committee and Director of Dan-Tien Security said “We became involved because we knew that several businesses had radios and we could see the benefit of extending the coverage across the Barbican by involving additional businesses.”

He added “We needed a system because, with the obvious concentration of bars and restaurants, there was potential for a rise in antisocial behaviour. Many of those bars would not wish to incur high security costs but they do need to ensure that the wrong type of person does not enter their premises. The introduction of this radio system allows businesses to communicate with each other to prevent undesirables from entering.”

He went on to say “BarbicanWatch has been operating for 8 weeks now and there has been a noticeable improvement and a reduction in the number of times the police have had to be called. Once people have been refused entry to one premise, they are then prevented from entering other peoples premises. Because they have been prevented access to the area, they are then forced to move on to other areas.”

Richard Smith, Brand Home Director of Plymouth Gin, who have been located on the Barbican since 1793, is a member of the BarbicanWatch Committee and he said “The Barbican is the jewel in the crown of Plymouth as far as the visitor economy is concerned. There is a perception of the Barbican which is worse than the reality as far as antisocial behaviour is concerned. In reality crime levels have been reducing for a number of years but what we are doing here is helping to turn this perception around. We are doing this by using the radio network and publicising the fact that it is in operation.

Asked about the performance of the radios Matthew Perrott said “The performance of the radios has been outstanding. We tested two other manufacturer’s models and the Icom’s had the longest battery life and the widest reception range.”

Richard Smith added “We are extremely pleased with the approach of Ansur Communications to this initiative. Steve has provided an excellent system, at a competitive price and with minimal delay which has allowed us to progress more rapidly than would otherwise have been the case

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