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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 threaten or use force ('Robbery') to acquire it; such an event occurring either opportunistically or after considerable research and planning.
All organisations undertaking cash handling, i.e. cash receipt, issue, counting, transfer, banking and cash storage can be at risk of robbery, and should therefore take appropriate measures to prevent it.
This Hardfacts outlines some general advice on cash security which is primarily aimed at enhancing the security of cash against robbery. More specific information on protecting the cash from theft/burglary and on safety of cash handling personnel is available in ‘Hardfacts' 3014 and 1004 respectively.
In depth robbery protection is best achieved by following a series of steps as outlined below:-
Step 1 - Risk Assessment
As a first step a robbery risk assessment should be undertaken that considers:
Once the assessment has been completed, measures to improve security can better be considered, as indicated below.
Note. Some useful further guidance on this whole topic can be obtained from the RISCAuthority website; see "Sources of Further Information" below.
Step 2 - Risk Avoidance
In some cases use of cash can be avoided, e.g. by only making/receiving payments by cheque or electronic transfer.
Step 3 - Risk Reduction
Consider whether the amount of cash held overall, in transit or at vulnerable locations in transit and overall can be reduced, for example:
Step 4 - Risk Transfer
Cash delivery, collection e.g re-filling ant ATM, or making up of wage packets, can be transferred to a Cash and Valuables in Transit (CViT) company.
To reduce the risk of robbers impersonating CViT staff to gain access to cash, ensure personnel do check the identity of CViT staff each time they seek access to your premises.
Selecting CViT Companies
The criteria for selecting a CViT company should include staff holding appropriate Security Industry Authority (SIA) licences, adhering to recognised training and operating procedures (e.g. those set out in British Standard BS7872: Code of Practice for Operation of Cash In Transit Services), having suitable insurance and being subject to a strict regime of external inspection/site audits.
National Security Inspectorate (NSI) listing (for CViT activities) is the best indicator of complete compliance with the above recommendations; although companies who hold SIA Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status will have to use suitably licensed and trained staff and may also adhere to most if not all of the above recommendations.
Step 5 - Managing Risk
Those risks that are unavoidable or which remain after considering steps 2-4 need to be managed as indicated below.
Arguably the most important security measure is that cash handling and other personnel are trustworthy and follow designated security procedures, e.g. that 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" etc.
At some sites a manned security presence, either ‘in house' or an external company, may be appropriate. The criteria for selecting a guarding company should include its staff holding appropriate Security Industry Authority (SIA) licenses adhering to recognised training and operating procedures (e.g. those set out in BS7499 - Code of Practice for Statis Site Guarding and Mobile Patrol Services) having suitable insurance and being subject to a strict regime of external inspection/site audits.
Although companies who hold SIA Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status will have to use suitably licensed and trained staff, National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or Security Systems and Alarms Inspection board (SSAIB) listing is the best indicator of complete compliance with all of the above recommendations.
A 'high risk' period for a cash robbery is when it is in transit. Risk can be reduced by undertaking transfers:
Segregation - Cash Handling Rooms
Wherever possible cash handling should be done with the public excluded from the building, but otherwise in an area not readily accessible to them, e.g. for low cash levels a room that has:
Larger amounts of cash may justify the construction of a cash office, which will usually warrant specialist advice; not least as it should ideally built to meet an appropriate risk level as outlined in:
That said in general terms:
During an Attack - Intruder Alarms
An Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) monitored ‘police response' alarm should be provided which incorporates:
During an Attack - Security Fog Systems
When activated, these systems sometimes called security 'smoke' systems, very quickly fill a room/area with harmless thick obscurring white fog thereby preventing intruders seeing what they have come to steal. 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 - CCTV
CCTV can be used to locally or remotely alert appropriate personnel to a robbery underway and/or obtain images (evidence) for later use.
See our various ‘Hardfacts' sheets for fuller information on electronic security systems e.g. intruder alarms and CCTV.
During an Attack - Safes
The best safe in the world is vulnerable if users can be forced to open them so in addition to using a good quality safe supplied by a competent safe dealer/locksmith e.g. a member of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) it is important to ensure that any safe has some or all of the following facilities:
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 RISCA Authority (UK property insurer's technical group) . See http://www.riscauthority.co.uk/
In particular consider these two documents:
S19: Security guidance for defence against robbery
S22: Cash Security - as user's guide
Note. Their website contains many other documents that may be useful e.g. those covering the essential principles for the security of property, ATMs, security fog devices, intruder alarms, CCTV and keyholding etc
The Disclosure and Barring Service. See
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
Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). Tel 01327 262255 or see www.locksmiths.co.uk
The European Certification Board - Safes (ECB-S) See www.ecb-s.com
The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) See www.redbooklive.com
Insafe - supplier of safes and security cabinets (member of Aviva's "Specialist Partner" network) Tel 0800 252225 or visit www.insafe.co.uk
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
British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Tel 0845 389 3889 or see 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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