The continued partnership between Government, the Cash in Transit sector and its customers has led to a significant decrease in the number of attacks on custodians during the past year.
Statistics published in March by the British Security Industry Association's (BSIA) Cash in Transit intelligence service, SaferCash, show a significant drop in the number of attacks - decreasing from 751 in 2010 to 460 in 2011.
Despite these positive steps, the industry supported by the Government and the police, must work together to protect more custodians from what are often brutal attacks especially as criminals are constantly evolving their methods.
Support from the judiciary is also essential. In 2011, approximately 950 years of custodial sentences were handed down for Cash in Transit offences dating back as far as 2009, with 19 offenders receiving sentences in excess of ten years.
According to Ashley Bailey, chairman of the BSIA's Cash and Valuables in Transit section, removing these criminals from the streets is helping to improve safety in the wider community.
“Joint research commissioned by the BSIA and the Home Office has shown that, in many cases, Cash in Transit offenders can be linked to a wide range of other crimes, from car key burglary to drug offences and even murder. Through the successful partnership working of the security industry, the Government and the police, these offenders that threaten the safety of communities across the country are now in jail.”
James Kelly, chief executive of the BSIA, added: “Following the record-breaking success of 2010, which saw the fastest decrease in Cash in Transit crimes for a decade, I'm delighted to see that 2011 has continued this positive trend, with the number of attacks again at a ten-year low. Such a consistent level of achievement is testament to the joint efforts of industry, Government and the police in tackling this serious and violent type of criminality.”
In fact, these relative successes are the result of ten years’ worth of effort on behalf of all involved. In 2001, Operation Hawkeye represented the start of the intelligence gathering approach and was the fore-runner of SaferCash. At that time, the industry felt that an average of ten Cash in Transit attacks a week was unacceptable, and these figures only continued to rise, in turn fuelling the industry's (and the Government’s) determination to tackle this growing problem over recent years.
"While there has undoubtedly been a considerable fall in attacks in 2011," asserted Kelly, "it's important to acknowledge that the achievements made so far have only served to take us back to the same situation we faced ten years ago."
However, with more stakeholders coming on board, the partnership approach is set to continue going from strength to strength.
Kelly concluded: “Customers, including banks, petrol stations and supermarkets, have also made a significant investment in Best Practice to help reduce the number of attacks on their premises. Their support will remain invaluable as we look towards improving these statistics even further in the coming years.”