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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 frequently look to steal it by stealth ('theft) or forced entry ('burglary') in each case 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 theft/burglary, and should 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 theft/burglary. More specific information on protecting the cash from robbery and on safety of cash handling personnel is available in ‘Hardfacts' 3013 and 1004 respectively.
In depth theft protection is best achieved by following a series of steps, as outlined below:-
Step 1 - Risk Assessment
As a first step a theft 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 at vulnerable locations in transit and overall can be reduced for example:-
Step 4 - Risk Transfer
If you have a 'Merchant Fill' convenience ATM, changing it to a 'Cash in Transit' (CIT) type if likely to mean you will no longer be liable for its contents - although the general risk to the premises and personnel will remain.
Step 5 - Managing Risk
Those risks that are unavoidable or which remain after considering steps 2-4 need to be managed, as indicated below:
Managing Risk - People
Arguably the most important general theft security measure relates to people, so consider:
Cash handling and other personnel need to be trustworthy and to reliably follow designated security procedures, so ensure personnel:-
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 staff holding appropriate Security Industry Authority (SIA) licences, adhering to recognised training and operating procedures (e.g. those set out in BS 7499 - Code of Practice for Static 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 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.
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 "Opening this door activates an alarm" or "No money is left on these premises overnight" etc
Managing Risk - Theft
Many cash thefts, whether belonging to organisations, employees or visitors, take place when premises are trading or otherwise potentially accessible to the public. These usually occur when thieves use stealth or bravado to snatch cash from insecure or unattended areas, so consider:
Ensuring that personnel:
Physical Security Measures
Physical measures can be used to restrict unauthorised access for example:
If other measures fail, it is useful to be alerted to the presence of someone who should not be there, so consider:
*This would typically be a remotely monitored alarm eligible for routine police response.
See other ‘Hardfacts' sheets for fuller information on intruder alarms and CCTV systems.
Managing Risk - Burglary
Most cash theft occurs after a break in whilst a premises are unoccupied so consider:
Ensure designated personnel:
Physical Security - Premises
A building should be of adequate strength to resist the expected level of likely attack. See ‘Hardfacts' 3003 Perimeter Security and 3017 Door & Window Security for further information.
Physical Security - Safes
Use a good quality safe supplied by a competent safe dealer/locksmith, e.g. a member of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA), ensuring that it has a suitable burglary resistance (Security 'Grade'*) for the values held within it.
*Safe manufacturers will usually suggest a Grade(and related cash limit) for their safes, with Grade ideally being certified by an independent test body e.g. European Certification Board - Security (ECB-S) or Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB); but in any event the intended cash limit should always be checked with any interested insurer before purchase.
Electronic Security - Intruder Alarms
A (remotely monitored) intruder alarm is the most common means of detecting an responding to a break in. Such alarms should:
Electronic Security - Security Fog Systems
When activated these systems sometimes call security 'smoke' systems very quickly fill a room/area with harmless thick obscuring white fog thereby preventing intruders seeing what they have come to steal. Such systems should:
Electronic Security - CCTV
CCTV can be used to locally or remotely alert appropriate personnel to a burglary underway and/or obtain images (evidence) for later use. Such systems should
See other 'Hardfacts' sheets for fuller information on intruder alarm and CCTV systems.
Key Action Steps
Assess the risks and consider the adequacy of current security measures
Seek professional help and advice, including that of any interested insurer's
Use suitably accredited and competent providers for locks, safes, intruder alarm or CCTV system work.
Ensure personnel have adequate security vetting plus intial and on-going training
Display suitable warning signs
Review security on a regular basis and as circumstances change
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
The RISCAuthority (UK property insurer's technical group) See www.riscauthority.co.uk
In particular, consider these two documents
S22: Cash Security - a user's guide
S3: Convenience ATM's - recommended security measures
Note: Their website contains many other documents that may be useful e.g. those covering the principles of property security, 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) or see www.ecb-s.com
The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) or 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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