`We’re behind you’ – that’s the festive message from South Yorkshire Police to criminals bidding to hold up vans carrying cash and valuables.
Between January and October 2012, organised crime groups carried out 306 attacks on banking institutions, retail outlets and security companies, resulting in losses worth more than £4.7 million.
None of these incidents were in South Yorkshire, which Detective Constable Nina Kitchener believes is partly due to the Force’s tough stance on such robberies.
“SYP provides a high priority service to all cash carriers and their employees throughout the year and this is intensified over the Christmas period when such attacks traditionally occur,” she said.
“During the `Follow the Van’ campaign, SYP will use a combination of policing tactics to deter and capture offenders,” continued DC Kitchener.
“These include deploying both covert and overt police resources, together with the Force’s helicopter and specialist firearms teams to keep track on security vans during this vulnerable time. In addition, patrols will be increased during cash deliveries and collections.
“The warning SYP wish to send to criminals is clear: if you intend to commit such offences in South Yorkshire you will be apprehended and receive a substantial prison sentence.”