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Cash, which should be regarded as notes, coins and freely convertible (usable) vouchers, is especially attractive to criminals. As such they may use or threaten force ('Robbery') to acquire it, such an event occurring either opportunistically or after considerable research and planning. Unfortunately, by its very nature, robbery often has an impact on the personnel threatened - whether due to psychological or physical harm, or indeed both.
All organisations that have staff handling cash can be at risk of robbery, and should therefore take measures to protect personnel from its potentially harmful effects, i.e. by virtue of section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 which states that "it shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all their employees".
With this duty in mind, every effort should be made to eliminate or reduce the robbery risk to personnel by provision of a safe workplace and systems of work associated with cash handling, i.e. cash receipt, issue, counting, transfer, banking, and related storage.
This Hardfacts outlines some general advice on cash security which is primarily aimed at enhancing personnel safety. More specific information on protecting the actual cash from robbery and theft is available in ‘Hardfacts' 3013 and 3014 respectively
Step 1 - Risk Assessment
As a first step a safety risk assessment should be undertaken that considers:
Once the assessment has been completed, measures to enhance personnel safety can better be considered, as indicated below.
Step 2 - Risk Avoidance
In some cases use of cash can be avoided.
Step 3 - Risk Reduction
The amount of cash potentially available can sometimes be reduced.
Step 4 - Risk Transfer
Sometimes some or all of the risk associated with cash can be passed to third parties e.g. use of a recognised Cash and Valuables in Transit (CViT) company.
Step 5 - Managing Risk
Those risks that are unavoidable or which remain after considering steps 2-4 need to be managed so consider:
Arguably the most important safety measure is that cash handling and other personnel:
Criminals are usually looking for an easy target, so are susceptible to being deterred if security precautions that are not otherwise readily apparent are 'advertised', e.g. display warning signs such as "Staff at these premises do not have access to the safe" or "We do not tolerate threatening behaviour to our staff " etc.
At some sites a manned security presence, either provided ‘in house' or via an external company, may be appropriate. When selecting a guarding company use of NSI or SSAIB listed companies is advised.
Robbery risk to cash handling personnel can be reduced if they cannot be easily reached or directly threatened by robbers, so:
Note: Segregation should not be mistaken for seclusion. As robbers usually wish to involve/seek control over as few of people as possible during an attack, it is helpful if the segregated area is located within clear view of other staffed/occupied areas.
During an Attack - Access to Safes
If robbers do gain access to cash handling personnel, their safety can be increased if it is clear that, whilst they are co-operating with robbers, they cannot access all or some of the cash due to circumstances beyond their control, e.g. keep cash in a safe fitted with some or all of the following:
During an Attack - Intruder Alarms
If a robbery occurs a means of calling for assistance should be provided, which will most usually be by means of an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) monitored ‘police response' alarm which incorporates:
During an Attack - Security Fog Systems
When activiated, these systems, sometimes called security 'smoke' systems, very quickly fill a room/area with harmless thick obscuring white fog, thereby preventing intruders from seeing their target(s). Although originally designed for burglary protection, with particularly careful attention to design they are now being increasingly used to help prevent robbery, i.e. they are manually activated to protect frontline/counter staff. Such systems should:
During an Attack - Personnel Actions
Personnel should be trained to react safely and appropriately during a robbery, so instruct them to:
During an Attack - Information
Preventing a repeat incident enhances future safety of your personnel and others so measures that assist the police in gathering evidence during a robbery, and thus hopefully apprehending the culprits, should be put in place, for example:
Key Action Steps
Sources of Further Information
Other ‘Hardfacts' in the Property Protection Security series, which are available in our ‘Knowledge Store' at www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions
Raid-Control. See www.raid-control.org
The RISCAuthority (Uk property insurer's technical group). See www.riscauthority.co.uk
Note. Their website contains many documents that my be useful e.g. those covering the essential principles for the security of property, robbery protection, cash handling, ATMs, security fog devices, intruder alarms, CCTV and keyholding etc.
The Disclosure and Barring Service see https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service
The Security Industry Authority. See www.the-sia.org.uk
National Security Inspectorate (NSI) - Tel 01628 637512 or see www.nsi.org.uk
Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) - Tel 0191 296 3242 or see www.ssaib.org
Security Fog Companies:
SMOKECLOAK - Tel 01604 839000 or http://www.smokecloak.co.uk
BANDIT - Tel 0870 7770434 or http://www.bandituk.co.uk
SMOKESCREEN - Tel 01205 821002 or http://www.smoke-screen.co.uk
PROTECT - Tel 01299 254254 or http://www.protect.dk
Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). Tel 01327 262255 or see www.locksmiths.co.uk
British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Tel 0845 389 3889 or www.bsia.co.uk
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.
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