ATTACKS on cash van guards are at an all-time low thanks to officers from West Midlands Police.
Security industry bosses have thanked the force after new figures have revealed the number of attacks on ‘cash-in-transit’ vans has more than halved in the West Midlands in the last four years.
The number dropped dramatically from 80 in 2010 to 38 last year – with only eight raids so far this year.
West Midlands Police has said this is largely down to the success of their ‘Follow that Van’ scheme, which sees police patrol cars not assigned to jobs chaperoning security guards between drop-offs and collections.
Last year, 3,284 cash-in-transit crews requested police cover, with around 70 per cent receiving immediate attention either by officers, PCSOs or CCTV operators.
And the reduction has not gone unnoticed, with the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) formally passing on its gratitude to the force for protecting its drivers.
Steve Hurst who heads up SaferCash, part of the BSIA, said: “The partnership between West Midlands Police and the BSIA has really driven down the number of attacks.
“It’s an excellent example of public and private agencies working together to combat serious crime affecting not only the security industry but also the general public and local businesses.”
But the force have said the success around cash-in-transit vans doesn’t end purely with preventive measures.
Officers from the Force CID Priorities Team have worked hard over the last year to link offences, identify repeat offenders, dismantle several prominent crime gangs and gather intelligence – resulting in a large number of arrests and convictions against determined and experienced offenders.
Speaking about the figures, Detective Inspector Ben West, the force’s lead for cash in transit offences, said: “It’s pleasing that the BSIA has recognised that this excellent coverage has been a major factor in reducing attacks – it’s a nice pat on the back for our officers and staff involved in the scheme.
“‘Follow that Van’ sees any uncommitted officers acting as a visual deterrent to potential offenders who might be planning a cash in transit robbery.
“The expectation is that officers actively observe any cash deliveries taking place and take action if they observe anything suspicious.”