A radio alert system, used by retailers in Tonbridge, has helped to track down a suspected shoplifter in less than 30 minutes.

At around 4.15pm on Monday 30 January 2023, a broadcast was relayed over the Safer Towns Partnership radio network, after several bottles of alcohol were reportedly stolen from a Waitrose store.

The communications hub is linked to shops and business throughout the town and helps to detect and combat crime, as well other issues including anti-social behaviour. It is also monitored by patrolling constables and by 4.40pm a suspect had been located by a responding officer and arrested.

A man from Orpington was taken into custody and later charged with two counts of theft, which also included an alleged incident on 21 December 2022 where clothing was stolen from a Marks and Spencer store in Sevenoaks. The suspect is bailed to appear before Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on 2 March.

By Ed

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