Police officers from across the country were given the chance to get close to the latest technology used in fighting Cash-in-Transit crime at a new event organised by crime reduction partnership Banknote Watch.
Attracting over 180 delegates from across 11 police forces, the seminar and exhibition brought police together with manufacturers of the unique taggant technology used to trace stolen banknotes back to the scene of a crime. A series of presentations gave police officers up-to-the-minute information about the applications of this technology and the procedures they can follow to identify and trace stolen cash.
Banknote Watch is a crime reduction partnership aimed at raising awareness among police and the general public that ‘a stained note is probably a stolen note’. Its supporters work closely with the police, financial institutions and the private security industry to ensure that criminals are less and less likely to profit from Cash-in-Transit crime.
Hosting the event alongside West Midlands Police and ACPO Secured by Design, Banknote Watch invited several exhibitors along to enable delegates from police forces to learn of the unique taggant technology used to trace stolen notes back to the scene of a crime.
Vital supporting evidence
Hilaire O’Shea is the national co-ordinator for Banknote Watch.
“When the police find stained banknotes,” explained O’Shea, “unique taggant technology can help them quickly and easily trace such notes back to the scene of a specific crime, which can in turn help them track down vital supporting evidence to help secure a conviction.”
O’Shea continued: “Each taggant has its own unique chemical code which shows up under ultraviolet light. This can attach itself to a criminal’s clothes or skin, or the inside of a car or home in which the stolen notes are stored. These solutions can remain traceable for years.”
On that basis, O’Shea and her colleagues at Banknote Watch wanted police officers to leave this event able to recognise the various solutions and understand the procedure they can follow to secure the evidence they need.
“Banknote Watch plays an important role in bringing police together with the manufacturers of these solutions,” added O’Shea, “as well as monitoring the positive impact this technology has on crime trends and reducing the risks faced by Cash-in-Transit couriers and financial institutions. We’re delighted that the event was so well-attended, and hope to follow up with similar events across the country and so help spread the word about unique taggants as far and wide as we can.”
Commitment, dedication and support from the security sector
Welcoming delegates to the event, ACC Gareth Cann of West Midlands Police said: “I have been hugely impressed with the commitment, dedication, support and effort from the [security] industry generally. Joint working and joint effort has been to everyone’s benefit.”
Meanwhile, Sergeant Andy Gregory of West Midlands Police Force’s Crime Reduction Unit, which hosted the event at its Tally Ho Training Centre in Birmingham, commented that the day had provided an “opportunity to share information with 11 police forces from around the country and across the region.”
Geoff Knupfer of exhibiting company Smartwater Technology (and current chairman of the Asset and Property Marking Section of the British Security Industry Association) added: “It has been a great conference. We’re absolutely delighted at the turnout and the interest being shown in some of the technology that’s available for countering and combating ATM attacks and cash attacks generally.”