Police target cash-in-transit gangs

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Merseyside Police van. Pic by Jack Maguire © JMU Journalism

Merseyside Police detectives have joined a regional campaign to crack down on gangs targeting cash-in-transit vans around the festive period.

A number of tactics will be used to deter criminals from going after the vans, such as armed police vehicle escorts, CCTV monitoring and helicopter patrols. Smartwater or dye will also be used in the cash containers, so when they are opened the dye will mark the notes to make them traceable and unusable.

The action will be co-ordinated by Titan,  which is the North West regional organised crime unit. Detective Inspector Jon Smith from Titan’s regional intelligence team said: “The region has seen a significant fall in cash-in-transit robberies in recent years but we are not complacent and we are determined to make sure criminals do not see these types of offences as easy ways to make money, because they most definitely are not.”

Robberies that target cash-in-transit vans are often violent. Three men were jailed in September after a court heard that security workers were sprayed to the face with ammonia and the offenders stole a total of £75,000 from vans in Old Swan, Formby and Wavertree.

YouTube: Merseyside Police

Though the number of crimes involving cash in transit vans has fallen across recent years in Merseyside, officers want to stay vigilant across the coming months as stores prepare for Christmas.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Richardson from Merseyside Police’s Matrix unit said: “While cash-in-transit attacks are falling in Merseyside we are determined to ensure we continue to see year on year reductions. We want the message to be heard loud and clear that anyone thinking about getting involved in these crimes will be found and they will feel the full force of the law.”

Merseyside Police is working in partnership alongside The British Security Industry Association and with officers from Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and North Wales to combat such robberies.

The North West police forces will share intelligence and provide assistance for cross-border deliveries throughout the campaign and into the following months.

Police are asking the public to be vigilant and help stop the violence by reporting any suspicious activity in the run up to the festive season to their local force by calling 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.