SaferCash support regional Cash in Transit campaign
Officers from the North West’s six police forces (Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and North Wales) have joined forces with the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) and the security industry to launch a joint operation targeting cash-in-transit and ATM robberies in the run-up to Christmas.
The action is co-ordinated by the ROCU, the regional collaboration to tackle serious and organised crime groups involved in drug trafficking, firearms, armed robberies, aggravated burglaries and other serious crimes.
The regional campaign launched last weekend sees officers using high-visibility and covert patrols on the ground to enable security vehicles to carry out their normal deliveries, protect businesses, as well as raising awareness across the region on social media.
Forces will use a number of tactics such as the use of armed police vehicles escorting high-risk security vehicles as they carry out cash deliveries, CCTV monitoring and patrol cars following cash-handling vehicles. In addition, all cash containers will include DNA marking solutions or a dye, which will be released when they are opened, marking the notes so they are both unusable and traceable.
Last year, the six forces all signed up to ATMosphere - a national operation created in partnership with the BSIA, which provides standard guidance to forces to enable them to develop closer working relationships with local communities and businesses to combat ATM crime.
ATM robberies can take many forms including using combustible gas to blow up cash machines, as well as robberies where the ATM is dragged from the wall or broken into with cutting equipment.
This action follows significant success during the past few years in combating cash-in-transit and ATM robberies across the region with more than 50 offenders being convicted and sentenced to more than 256 years in prison since 2021.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Turner from NWROCU’s Regional Intelligence Unit, said:
"The region has seen a significant fall in cash-in-transit and ATM robberies during the past few years, but despite this success, we will not become complacent.
"Working with our partners across the North West and beyond, we're determined to stop criminals from committing these type of offences. It's categorically not an easy way to make money, and it's not a victimless crime - it's dangerous and often linked to other serious violent crimes."
Sarah Staff, Head of SaferCash, a security initiative hosted by the British Security Industry Association, said:
"We really welcome these opportunities to work alongside police forces in the North West region and fully support this proactive Christmas campaign. Our members continued to strive to reduce the number of Cash in Transit robberies and ATM attacks with enhanced physical security systems, with the collaborative efforts of UK Policing. The supply of cash and the availability of ATMs are often the lifelines of local communities.
"Through SaferCash we endeavour to continue to support the police in any way we can, helping to reduce these attacks and prevent any stolen money being used to fund other serious and organised crime which in turn affects so many lives. I would encourage anyone with information relating to ATM or Cash in Transit crime to call Crimestoppers, a national crime prevention charity on 0800 555 111, to help the police combat this area of crime."
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Stephenson, Force Intelligence Bureau, Merseyside Police said: "These are not victimless crimes.
"Robberies are by their nature violent and extremely frightening for the victims. No-one deserves to go to work and be the victim of a violent crime that could have long-term consequences for their physical and mental health
"Like our colleagues across the North West, Merseyside Police will be carrying out extra patrols across our communities in the run up to Christmas and will take robust action against anyone found to have committed a cash-in-transit or ATM robberies.
"The message to offenders involved in this type of criminality is clear – there is no hiding place. We will use every tactic available to us to track you down and put you before the courts where you can expect to receive lengthy and life-changing prison sentences."
Detective Chief Inspector Clare Coleman, Cheshire Police, said: "Thankfully the number of incidents of this nature are low in Cheshire and that's the way we want to keep it.
"That's why we're working closely with our partners throughout the festive period, ensuring that we are one step ahead by targeting, deterring and disrupting criminals from committing this type of crime.
"Armed robberies on cash in transit vans are not victimless crimes. They can have a devastating and long lasting impact on the drivers who take on this role and provide a vital service to our communities. Everyone has a right to carry out their work without being in fear of what might happen during the course of their working day.
"Information from the public can also provide the police with vital intelligence, and were asking people out doing their Christmas shopping to keep their eyes and ears open and report any suspicious activity.
"In Cheshire our message is clear, our officers will be where the money is and will bring those intent on committing this type of offence, to justice."
Chief Inspector Craig Kelshaw, Lancashire Police said: “The men and women who deliver cash securely to local banks and businesses across the North-west do an important job that benefits us all. They are decent, ordinary, hard-working people from every county in our region and they deserve the public’s support and police's protection. They certainly don’t deserve to be threatened and assaulted by criminals who ambush them as they go out their everyday business.
“That is why we work closely with our colleagues in forces across the region and the security industry companies themselves to deter and detect such attacks. The public too can help by reporting any suspicious people or vehicles to us so we can take action.
“Although the number of robberies has fallen significantly compared to four or five years ago, we recognise that there is more to be done across the region. The people who have been the victims in the incidents that have occurred in the past 12 months have each suffered considerably, either physically, psychologically or both.
“My message to anyone thinking of committing this sort of crime is don’t bother. The police routinely follow cash delivery vans in marked cars to deter attacks, use unmarked cars to detect suspicious activity during a delivery and the vans and cash boxes carry a host of security devices such as CCTV and dye that explodes when a cash box is forced open, staining the bank notes and offenders themselves. These dyes are impossible to wash off so render the notes useless and incriminates the offender by staining their skin and clothes."
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Donnelly, Cumbria Constabulary, said: "Robberies such as these are often violent crimes that can have a life-changing impact on people who are simply going about their jobs trying to earn an honest living.
"These crimes are not just against financial institutions but also have a detrimental community impact and disrupt our daily lives, convenience and safety.
"Together with the other forces in the north west, we are committed to stopping those involved and will use all powers available to us to target these criminals and prevent offences.
"By the public reporting a suspicious incident or criminal action they are helping catch criminals who have no regard for the impact such crimes have on people.
"Suspicious activity could be a vehicle that appears out of place in the area of a cash delivery or people loitering around premises that routinely receive cash drops."
Detective Superintendent John Griffith, Greater Manchester Police, said: “Cash in transit robberies commonly involve the use of violence, which can have a lasting impact on victims both physically and psychologically. We will respond robustly to this violent crime and ensure that all information is acted upon to ensure those responsible are prosecuted. We are seeing a reduction in this type of offending and it is clear our focussed approach is having the desired effect on this criminality”
“GMP is committed to working closely with our neighbour forces and partner agencies including the security companies, to make sure we are doing all we can to deter these attacks.
“The public can also assist us in our work to reduce these crimes by reporting any suspicious behaviour, such as people closely following cash in transit workers or standing around businesses that regularly receive cash from these companies. It is important that any suspicious behaviour is reported to police straight away”.
Watch "What is a CViT robbery?" today!