Street Cleaners in the London borough of Harrow North West London have been given radios to help fight crime; they now join a network of shops, pubs and cafes that help the police.
The area already has 100 walkie-talkies in use; with these special radios, street cleaners will be able to contact the police if they spot anything unusual while going about their daily business.
The idea of including street cleaners in these neighbourhood watch program came from Harrow town centre team chief Sergeant Mike Windeatt, who believes they will be of great help especially in the early hours of the day when normally street cleaners start their shifts.
The Sergeant said:
“Working closely with the Harrow street cleaners has real benefits for us. They start their shifts just after dawn and see things that may be extremely valuable to police. We are issuing these radios to the supervisors and asking them to use them to report to us if, for example, they come across any suspicious packages, or any discarded property that might have been stolen, if they come across a crime scene or even if they see someone acting suspiciously.”
The radios are linked to the CCTV control room to help the police identify suspects straight away and direct units to the exact location to arrest them.
Harrow’s Council deputy leader councillor Susan Hall said:
“It is not about our cleaners suddenly becoming vigilantes but just using their experience of cleaning the streets to act as an early alarm service for town centre officers.”