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Firms warned to remain vigilant over cash-in-transit robberies

Businesses that use cash-in-transit services are being advised not to lower their guard against potential raids taking place, despite recent figures showing such incidents are on the decline.

SaferCash, which is an intelligence organisation linked to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), found the proportion of attacks taking place on couriers hit an all-time low last year.

According to the statistics, 270 incidents occurred over the 12-month period, which was 30 per cent fewer than the previous year and 75 per cent less than the all-time high figure seen in 2009 of 1,060.

 

It's no surprise the industry has been the subject of attacks - often of a significantly violent nature - over the past few years. An estimated £1.4 billion is transported every day, which is the equivalent of £500 billion per year. As well as moving money to banks, couriers are responsible for supporting retailers and other businesses, helping to facilitate millions of transactions each day to help with their cashflow.

SaferCash also provided figures relating to the nature of assaults on cash-in-transit services, with almost a quarter (24 per cent) of incidents resulting in the employee suffering some form of injury. One worrying facet of the organisation's research was that while the number of overall attacks has decreased, the proportion of those that involved firearms has risen from ten per cent in 2012 to 14 per cent last year. 

This suggests the way this type of offence is being carried out is changing to become more measured, with robbers likely to use increased force but in less frequent instances.

Head of SaferCash Steve Hurst said: "For couriers going about their daily duties, these figures can never be far from their minds and it is for this reason that we as an industry, along with our colleagues in government and police forces across the country, cannot afford to rest on our laurels.”

Work still to be done

Mr Hurst's message has been echoed by the BSIA chief executive James Kelly, who said the violent nature of the crime, along with the impact it has upon its victims, is driving the group's continuing efforts to tackle the problem.

While paying tribute to the government, police and security industry for their efforts that have resulted in "consistent year-on-year successes" as far as the reduction in the number of incidents was concerned, Mr Kelly also used the opportunity to call for further work to be done.

"Often, couriers suffer extreme and unforgettable violence, and demonstrate admirable bravery in delivering this essential public service," he said.

"My thoughts remain with all of the couriers who suffered attacks last year and preventing others from experiencing the same physical and psychological harm is the driving force behind our ongoing commitment to reducing cash-in-transit crime even further in 2014."

Private security guards can often provide extra reassurance and support to couriers as they travel between their vehicle and their delivery destination, not just as a deterrent, but also as physical backup if the situation requires it.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of ThinkStock

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