vans carrying cash will be followed by police officers in a bid to deter robbers from targeting them over the festive period in South Yorkshire.
In a repeat of an operation carried out in previous years, some officers will be given specific vans to follow while others on patrol on roads across the county will be asked to be on the lookout for the cash vans, and to follow them until officers are called out to deal with crimes or incidents reported to South Yorkshire Police.
The aim is to provide extra security to cash van drivers as they are delivering or collecting money.
Between January and October this year there have been 306 attacks on banking institutions, retail outlets and security companies, resulting in losses worth more than £4.7 million reported to the police nationally.
None of the incidents was in South Yorkshire – and police chiefs have introduced the operation to maintain incidents at a minimum.
Detective Constable Nina Kitchener said: “South Yorkshire Police 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.
“During the Follow the Van campaign, South Yorkshire Police will use a combination of policing tactics to deter and capture offenders.
“These include deploying both covert and overt police resources, together with the force’s helicopter and specialist firearms teams, to keep track of security vans during this vulnerable time.
“In addition, patrols will be increased during cash deliveries and collections.
“The warning South Yorkshire Police wishes to send to criminals is clear – if you intend to commit such offences in South Yorkshire, you will be apprehended and you will receive a substantial prison sentence.”
Anyone with information about ‘cash-in-transit’ crimes should call South Yorkshire Police on 101. Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.