Tighten cash-in-transit security - Mthethwa

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pretoria - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is calling on the security industry to tighten its security measures in order to prevent cash-in transit-heists.

"We are aware that cash-in-transit robbers often make use of 'inside information' when planning and executing heists.

"This information comes largely from people employed by cash-in-transit service providers. In the majority of attacks the provision of this information is crucial to the success of the robbery," Mthethwa said.

He was addressing a sector forum between his ministry, representatives from the cash-in-transit industry, private security, business as well as the banking sector on Friday.

Mthethwa also emphasised the need to develop and implement legislations aimed at reducing vulnerabilities in the cash-in-transit industry.

"In dealing a blow to these heists there is a need to look at various solutions, including possible technological advances that could reduce cash-in-transit heists.

"We cannot address robberies simply by arming the guards who transport cash. These heists, like the vast majority of armed robberies, have the acquisition of cash as the main motivation behind the robbery," he said.

The minister said he was also aware that criminals involved in cash-in-transit heists are highly organised and that they plan the attacks with relative precision, adding that they have access to various weapons.

While the police may have made inroads in crushing some heist networks, it is important for the industry to address their own risks and to implement preventative measures, he said.

"We recognise that there are a variety of different companies with different resources available to them and what we need to look at is a set of minimum standards that will be implemented by all companies. We need to ensure these companies take seriously their responsibilities to protect, not only their clients but their guards and the public who are affected by cash-in-transit heists," Mthethwa said.

Mthethwa said the problems experienced by this sector form part of the overall cash supply chain that is vulnerable to robberies.

"For this reason we also intend to engage with the retail, small business and cash businesses to see what can be done to reduce the risks across the entire spectrum of businesses that are affected by cash robberies," the minister said.