Operation aims to protect cash couriers and the public

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robbers who are planning to take advantage of the extra large cash runs carried out by security vans in the busy run-up to Christmas have been warned that specialist police will be watching.

The South Yorkshire force said that December was traditionally a time when criminal gangs looked to carry out so-called cash-in-transit robberies as money is moved between shops, cash machines and banks.

But senior officers said they would be using a “variety of tactics” to combat such crime, including the use of armed officers to escort high-risk security vehicles as they make their normal deliveries.

DC Ron Day, who is part of the operation said, both overt and covert CCTV operations would also be mounted and the force helicopter would be on standby to shadow cash-carrying vans.

He added: “The public should not be concerned if they see police officers escorting security staff. This operation is a deterrent to criminals.

“We have reviewed our tactical deployments of officers over the festive period to achieve maximum impact. “

DC Day said officers had even interviewed criminals in prison who had been sentenced for similar crimes, in a bid to “obtain an insight into their methods and tactics”.

He said: “This operation sends a clear message to criminals that if you come to South Yorkshire to commit this type of crime, you will be caught and prosecuted.”

The police have also worked with the Security Industry Association and industry body Safercash to draw up their plan of action.

Steve Hurst, the head of Safercash said: “Cash-in-transit attacks remain a major problem across the UK and working with forces such as South Yorkshire Police we are determined to reduce this threat and make the cash-handling industry as secure as possible.

“Cash-in-transit robberies cause injury and trauma to couriers and also put members of the public at risk so it is important that the crime is combated.”