CALM Shop Watch

Shop Watch

For over twenty years Chatterbox has provided the two-way radio system for shop watch schemes, the London Borough of Croydon’s Safer Croydon Radio and the scheme at Intu, Bromley illustrate the sort of systems we can provide and the benefits they offer.

The London Borough of Croydon’s Safer Croydon Radio shop watch scheme, offers local businesses (retailers, licensed premises etc.) the opportunity to subscribe to a shared two-way radio system, enabling them to communicate with a central control system, which also monitors the Boroughs CCTV cameras, and other subscribers, sharing information about suspicious or threatening behaviour and requesting help if needed. It is one of the largest in the country.

In November 2011, following the riots that devastated the town centre that summer, The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced an investment of £23m to help return Croydon to its former glory as a major commercial centre and contributor to the capital’s economy. The London Borough of Croydon channelled part of this funding into an additional 60 radios for the SCR system. Funded for two-years, these additional radios have encouraged more retailers to join the scheme, widening the support and protection of the system.

Over 370 digital two-way radios are currently live on the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) SCR system. These are all compact digital Hytera PD505 hand portables. The radios communicate via four Simoco digital repeater base stations tactically situated within the Borough and linked by microwave link and ADSL as backup to Chatterbox Alarm Location Monitoring (CALM) system at a central control room, which also monitors the Boroughs CCTV cameras.

The radios are simple to operate but to help Croydon train new staff and overcome FAQs we have provided them with a series of YouTube videos. Staff can easily go online and actually see how to change a battery etc.

SCR is one of the largest local authority controlled shop watch schemes in the UK. The whole system is rented from Chatterbox.

Intu Bromley 

The Chatterbox Alarm Location Monitoring (CALM) system supplied to Intu, Bromley (formerly The Glades) has been in operation for over 20 years, initially as an analogue system but more recently as an digital system. It is essential to the smooth running of the retail complex which operates 24/7 for deliveries, cleaning and maintenance. Security teams, cleaners, car park attendants, and staff rely on the Motorola DMRs to coordinate their operations and maximise security of premises, shoppers and staff.

The system is managed from a base station/repeater located in the control room which ensures strong signal coverage across the complex.

The upgrade to MOTOTRBO digital two-way radios has eliminated communication dead spots that affected six retail outlets and improved audio clarity in basement and service areas, outlying parts of the complex, and the car park.

Managers are able to use MOTOTRBO’s one-to-one calling and text messaging capabilities for discreet communication with each other.

The GPS function enables the system to track the location of each radio user in real time which is a benefit for staff monitoring and for health and safety.If a user hits the emergency button on a radio a screen alerts the control room supervisor instantly to who needs assistance, which enables help to be despatched immediately. For lone workers alert intervals can be set and reset for each user by controllers according to the nature and location of the work being carried out and the time of day. If workers fail to acknowledge the alert to confirm that they are not in trouble the system shows a flashing message or alarm which prompts a call or follow-up action from the control room. The system automatically records and stores transmissions, which could help resolve incidents faster.

The system uses Motorola 2 wire covert kits with acoustic tube earpieces from the IMPRES accessory portfolio. Intelligent IMPRES technology helps eliminate background noise which optimises audio clarity. The robustness and resilience of Motorola’s audio accessories has resulted in a substantially increased life time and fewer repairs, which greatly outweighing the additional purchasing cost.


CALM shop watch systems, which are bespoke to every client, can be bought or we offer a managed service -a budgetable, all-in monthly cost with no capital outlay. Additional units, pre-programmed to user specifications, can be acquired within 24 hours to meet increase in demand during peak periods or a growth in user numbers. In the unlikely event of a radio developing a fault it can be replaced the same day.

To discuss your requirements or for more information about our shop watch systems please contact us.