Lancashire Police is stepping up its fight against cash-in-transit (CIT) robberies, following major success over the past year with 15 offenders sentenced to more than 180 years in prison.
The action is part of a north-west wide campaign, which will see officers from Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Cumbria and North Wales working with the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and other partner agencies to safeguard commercial and financial businesses, along with CIT vehicles during their delivery and pick-up times.
“The number of cash in transit robberies taking place in the county has significantly reduced over the past four years," notes Detective Superintendent Steve Brunskill of Lancashire Police. So far this year we are down by around 80 per cent, compared to last year.
"However, Christmas is approaching and this is traditionally when we see a rise in these sorts of offences. We know from some of the robberies in the past that these criminals do not hesitate to use violence and we are determined to keep our communities safe from harm.”
He added: “We will be targeting, deterring and disrupting criminals who carry out cash-in-transit attacks and robberies on commercial and financial premises.
“This regional approach allows us to gather and share intelligence more effectively and I would reassure the public that everything is being done to target those criminals who travel into the county to commit crime.”
A variety of tactics will be used to prevent these robberies, including police vehicles escorting high-risk security vehicles as they carry out cash deliveries; the use of overt and covert CCTV monitoring; patrol cars following cash-handling vehicles; plus all cash containers will include either Smartwater or a dye, which will be released when they are opened.
In addition, acting on intelligence, the force helicopter will shadow the vehicles from the air during collections or deliveries, enabling any activity to be monitored. All North West police forces will continue to share intelligence and provide assistance for cross-border deliveries.
Last week, 21-year-old David Jordan Evans had his 10-year sentence increased to 15 years after the court of appeal reviewed his involvement in the shooting of a Blackburn security guard in a £20,000 robbery in December 2008.
Detective Superintendent Brunskill said: “The sentences that are given to these offenders reflect not just the serious nature of the offence but also the hard work that Lancashire Police put in to bringing these people to justice.
“Last year, those committing cash in transit robberies were sentenced to a total of over 180 years in prison - with one person being jailed for life. The success we’ve had in arresting and convicting these offenders should be a warning to anyone thinking of committing this type of crime, there is no hiding place for them and they risk spending Christmas behind bars.”
He added: “This is a devastating and often violent crime that can cause deep distress for the victims, and for those who witness these often terrifying attacks. Without key information from the public we wouldn’t be able to remove these offenders from the street. Therefore, we would ask the public to be vigilant and contact us if they have any information to help us catch those responsible.”
• Information can be given to Lancashire Police on 0845 1 25 35 45 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency dial 999.