AN innovative hi-tech radio link-up system was being brought to the centre of a town a decade ago to help keep shoppers safe. 

Johnstone retailers were to be able to communicate with each other using the latest hand-held digital device. 

Fans of the scheme hoped it would mean quicker response times from the police if a crime was committed and better monitoring and sharing of information. 

Following a series of terrifying crimes in Johnstone in 2008, businesses rallied round to help each other fight the criminals with the latest technology. 

Community cops based in Johnstone decided to set up the network, which linked a number of outlets in the town centre with an increased police presence in the streets.

Shopkeeper Shona Thomson, who owned The Pet Shop next to Houstoun Square, said: “Hopefully this will drive out all the undesirable elements from the town centre. 

“Staff and customers need to be more confident and not worried that they will get confronted on the street or robbed in shops.”  

Secretary George Kennedy said: “The link will be established between ten local shops and police foot patrols in Johnstone Town. 

“This initiative was conceived by our local community police officers who continue to work very hard for our townspeople. 

“We would like to thank all councillors for their support.”