CLASSICAL music to deter young troublemakers is to become a security option at Co-operative Group convenience stores after a successful trial.
A handful of locations were selected for a pilot project by the Group last summer. Now, after monitoring the results from the pilot, loudspeakers will appearing at more stores.
Scotland's Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson welcomed the scheme when she visited the Scottish Co-op store in Newton Mearns near Glasgow to learn more about the initiative. The music is already set for installation at a further 19 convenience stores in Scotland.
"We've used it in a few places and it has had the desired effect," said Julia Rogers, the Co-operative Group's general manager of central services.
"Some of our stores have problems with youths who gather outside, and they can intimidate shoppers and our staff. This is an extra tool we can and will install in locations where we have such problems."
The taped classical-style music is specially produced for the Co-op, and is controlled by shop staff who can adjust the volume to deter youths who gather outside.
"Youngsters often gather outside our stores, especially in communities where a convenience store may be the only place open after dark. Playing the music makes our shops less ?cool' as places for youngsters to hang out, and can make life much easier for our customers and our staff."
The Group's initial trial of classical music was at stores in Bristol, Worcester, Andover and Flint in north Wales. Now systems have also been installed at Sutton in Surrey, Rochester and Ashford in Kent, Hove and Eastbourne in Sussex, and in Scotland at Alness as well as Newton Mearns.