A new police unit will crackdown this Christmas on criminals targeting cash delivery vans in Morecambe and Lancaster.
Earlier this year a Blackpool man was sent to prison for eight years for conspiring to rob a cash van after he was caught following one through Lancaster.
With people and the businesses they shop at getting involved in the big pre-Christmas spend, operations to protect the cash delivery vans and the guards who drive them have been stepped up.
‘Titan’ is working alongside each of the six police forces in the region as well as the security industry to continue to drive down the number of offences taking place in high streets and shopping centres each year.
While local forces carry out operations to protect cash delivery vans as they deposit and collect cash from banks, Post Offices and ATMs, Titan works with other specialist units from each force to investigate the most prolific and serious offenders.
In 2009 there were 189 incidents and in 2010 there were 89 compared to 61 between October 2013 and November this year.
Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson, head of operations at Titan, 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. “
One guard who has been attacked several times during a ten year career and wished to remain anonymous, said: “What the criminals who do this don’t realise or care about is that it’s not a victimless crime.
“We are real people with families and it’s not just the physical scars that need to heal.
“After an attack you’re very wary. Everything makes you jump. It has a huge impact on your life.”
DS Hudson said: “The public too can help by reporting any suspicious people or vehicles to their local police force 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.”