CIT technology's upper hand

February 2013 Security Services & Risk Management

The private security industry and its clients are finally finding some relief in the cash-in-transit sector as the number of heists continues to show an encouraging downward trend.

SBV chief executive, Grant Dunnington reports that cash heists in South Africa have declined from 315 in 2010, to 215 in 2011, with the number at 123 to the end of August 2012.

“The amount of money stolen has also gone down significantly,” he says, putting that positive development down to their high-tech vehicles, the training of SBV’s staff, vetting and intelligence capabilities.”

Pudu is an example of its latest innovation. The CSIR developed a polyurethane dispensing unit that creates a solid block of hot, rigid foam inside the vehicle if an attack occurs. It sets almost instantly confronting the robbers with a solid wall when they open the door. The time-delay device makes it virtually impossible to access the valuables inside the vault. One result of such successes, however, is an increase in hits in cross-pavement money movement from office to vehicle.

Elsewhere new heist-busting interventions are making an appearance, like this crime fighting device that débuted recently in thwarting the theft of cash boxes at a South London Lloyds TSB branch. The deployment resulted in the successful conviction of the perpetrators because the device made the money stick like crazy and because of a growing partnership between police (in this case the Flying Squad) and the cash-in-transit industry.

The new technology is built into the safe boxes used to transfer the cash. A signal releases glue, binding the notes together and making them valueless. To be doubly sure, SmartWater (a UV feature) and dye were deployed to stain the notes.

The Flying Squad’s detective superintendent Nick Stevens was elated. “This is a fantastic result,” he said. “The Flying Squad is working in partnership with the cash-in-transit industry using the latest technology to arrest and convict criminals. It should help to deter other criminals who think cash-in-transit robberies are a quick and easy way to get cash. In this technology we have a new weapon in the fight against cash-in-transit robberies and gives substance to the Flying Squad’s already excellent partnership work with the industry with the number of such robberies falling consistently year on year.”

Gavin Windsor, risk director at G4S London adds: “It is particularly pleasing to see from this case how the recently-introduced glue solution in cash boxes ensures that any money stolen becomes completely unusable for the criminal, effectively removing any reward for committing CIT crime.”

Meanwhile, as CITs decline, South African employers with single payroll administrators are being seen as most vulnerable to payroll fraud and costly administration mistakes, costing South African companies more than cash-in-transit heists, reports Johan Booysen, head of Alexander Forbes Payroll Services. And the cash nature of payroll fraud means that even when detected, the chances of recovering money is limited.

As a case history example, Booysens relates a recent incident in which a payroll manager was channelling salaries to a private bank account. When the fraud was eventually uncovered the account had been cleaned out with each withdrawal having been made in cash. “Since then there has not been a single item purchased electronically so there was no way to prove that any purchases had been made with stolen money and that meant there was nothing to attach.”

“Internal staff involvement in heists is believed to be one of the biggest threats,” cautions Dunnington. “A counter-measure is to introduce a staff vetting process in the organisation. This would highlight the candidate’s credit and criminal record, cases that they are currently charged with, monitor employees that are registered on the Register of Employees Dismissed (REDS) and administer psychometric tests. This process is also highly critical for retailers when employing temporary staff at any time.”

SASA welcomes the slow but sure turning of the tide against CIT attacks, but warns that there should be no letting up in the innovation of ways of protecting security personnel and their cargoes, or of constantly improving strategies and tactics to convince would-be attackers to find another line of work.

Visit the SASA website at

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