Armed escorts for deliveries

South Yorkshire Police is stepping up its fight against violent cash-in-transit and commercial robberies in the run up to Christmas.

Armed police will escort high-risk security vehicles as they carry out their deliveries and the force’s helicopter will shadow vehicles from the air.

Another initiative, called follow that van, will keep potential robbers guessing about whether a cash delivery van is likely to get a police escort.

Patrolling officers who come across a cash-in-transit delivery while on general duties will follow and observe the van on its run.

Police are hopeful the operation will ensure the use of police resources provides maximum impact to target, deter and disrupt professional criminals.

Detective Constables Ron Day and Nina Kitchener, who are involved in the operation, said the public should not be concerned if they see police officers escorting security staff.

“This operation is a deterrent to criminals and indicative of our commitment to public safety. We have reviewed our tactical deployments of officers over the festive period to achieve maximum impact,” they said.

“South Yorkshire Police is committed to safeguarding people in the security industry from these criminals who do not hesitate to use violence and we will keep the operation running into the New Year.”

“This operation sends a clear message to criminals that if you come to South Yorkshire to commit this type of crime you will be caught and prosecuted. Police and other agencies have been successful in prosecuting highly organised criminal gangs travelling from other areas of the country.”

All offenders prosecuted at Sheffield Crown Court have received custodial sentences.