Cash-in-Transit attacks reach all-time low but threat of violence remains

Despite attack levels reaching an all-time low in 2013, falling victim to attack and robbery remains a very real threat for the security industry’s Cash-in-Transit couriers according to the latest statistics published by SaferCash (the Cash-in-Transit intelligence service of the British Security Industry Association).

Transporting around £500 billion every year – the equivalent to £1.4 billion every day – the UK’s Cash-in-Transit industry performs an essential public service, keeping cash moving around the country and in turn supporting banks, retailers and businesses by facilitating millions of transactions every day.

The number of attacks on Cash-in-Transit couriers reached a record low last year, with just 270 attacks taking place. This represents a 30% decrease when compared to 2012, and an impressive 75% decrease on the all-time high figure of 1,060 attacks in 2009.

The number of attacks on Cash-in-Transit couriers reached a record low last year, with just 270 attacks taking place

The number of attacks on Cash-in-Transit couriers reached a record low last year, with just 270 attacks taking place

James Kelly, CEO of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), commented: “These consistent year-on-year successes are testament to the continued joint efforts of industry, Government and the Police in tackling this serious and violent crime. However, it’s the violent nature of this crime – and its significant impact on victims – that’s the driving force behind all stakeholders’ efforts to reduce both the number and impact of Cash-in-Transit attacks. The statistics contained in this latest report highlight the vital importance of all stakeholders’ continued commitment to this cause.”

Risk of violence

Looking closer at the risk of violence faced by couriers, it’s clear that – despite an overall reduction in the number of attacks – serious injury is still a very real threat to couriers.

While overall injury rates have decreased since 2012, almost a quarter of attacks in 2013 (24%) resulted in some kind of injury, while the proportion of attacks where firearms were used or intimated has risen from 10% in 2012 to 14% in 2013.

Steve Hurst, head of SaferCash, explained: “For couriers going about their daily duties, these figures can never be far from their minds. It’s 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.”

Established in 2007, SaferCash is a security initiative which aims to reduce the number of attacks on Cash-in-Transit couriers through the effective sharing of intelligence between the industry and police forces nationwide.

Operated by the BSIA, SaferCash provides a national framework for information and intelligence sharing between individual police forces and security personnel, while also providing essential and immediate support for Cash-in-Transit crews who witness a suspicious incident.

Building a partnership between industry and the police has afforded SaferCash the ability to identify linked offences and spot where organised crime groups (OCGs) are active across force boundaries. In the case of Cash-in-Transit, these groups are operating on an increasingly nationwide basis, impacting on local communities and often using the proceeds of their crime to fund other criminal enterprises such as drugs or human trafficking.

Continued commitment to the cause

Despite the contribution of Cash-in-Transit crime to the wider criminal network, the impact of robbery is most keenly felt by those who suffer directly as a results of the attack. It’s the protection of victims and prevention of future attacks which remain the driving forces behind all stakeholders’ continued commitment to reducing the level of Cash-in-Transit crime.

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly concluded: “Often, couriers suffer extreme and unforgettable violence. They demonstrate admirable bravery in delivering this essential public service. My thoughts remain with all of the couriers who suffered attacks last year. 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.”

For more information about the BSIA and SaferCash visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/cash-in-transit

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