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Police forces across the North-West are working together with Titan and the security industry this month to tackle cash-in-transit robberies and ATM thefts.

Although these crimes have fallen in the past few years thanks to improved security measures and policing tactics, and the jailing of criminal gangs, historically the run-up to Christmas is a high-risk period due to the larger number of cash deliveries being made to banks and local businesses.   Police officers across the region will be maintaining a highly-visible presence when large cash deliveries are being made and, in some cases, patrols will escort security vehicles while en-route to deliveries.

Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson, head of operations at Titan, said: “Thanks to the way Titan and local police forces work with the cash security industry, we have made considerable in-roads in recent years to reduce the number of cash in transit robberies.   “These crimes are often incredibly violent in nature and can lead to the guards who are delivering the money being outnumbered and threatened by people with weapons, and, in some rare cases, attacked and injured.

“These are people who are just doing their job yet often are left emotionally or physically scarred from what they have been put through by these organised criminal gangs who are just out to make money.   “The police are determined to do all we can with the industry itself to limit the number of these attacks, especially in the busy run-up to Christmas. Officers will be accompanying deliveries to ensure they pass off without incident, but, if an incident does occur, the offenders can be rest assured that we will do all we can to catch you.

“Cash containers contain either Smartwater or a dye which is incredibly difficult to wash off so any offender who is stained by this dye will not only be unable to use the money they have stolen but also be marked themselves when the police come knocking at their door.

“Just last month a gang in Merseyside was jailed for 61 years for committing these kind of robberies in Wirral and Cheshire and among them were two women who were prosecuted for helping the gang try, unsuccessfully, to wash the dye from the stolen money.   “And only today we have seen Gemma Harvieu given a suspended prison for her role in helping convicted armed robber Andrew Moran evade justice.

“My message to those planning on carrying out cash-in-transit robberies or attempting to steal cash machines in the run-up to Christmas is clear – we will find you and we will make sure you spend this Christmas and many more to come behind bars away from your family and loved ones.”

Police are asking the public to be vigilant and help stop the violence by reporting any suspicious activity in the run up to the festive season to their local force by calling 999, or to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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