In an attempt to reduce what appears to be an increasing number
bank robberies nationwide, an American Bankers Association committee
has assembled a list of robbery prevention tips for financial
The association's security and fraud prevention committee
developed the tips after meetings with Federal Bureau of
Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice representatives. The
meetings were held to try to determine possible causes for the
increase in robberies and to develop solutions.
"With the sophisticated security devices banks have in place
to deter and detect bank robbers -- and the jail time bank robbers
ultimately serve -- it's a mystery to us why anyone would take the
chance of robbing a bank," said Charles J. Bock Jr., chairman of the
committee and director of fraud prevention and investigation at
Manhattan Corp. in New York.
Three out of four bank robbers are caught within 18 months of
their crime, according to law enforcement officials. The high
apprehension rate is due in large part to banks' diligence in
providing law enforcement with good, clear photos of the bank
robbers, they said.
However, the officials gave no specific reasons for the recent
rise in robberies.
The ABA Security and Fraud Prevention Committee offered several
tips for financial institutions:
* Evaluate current internal training and enhance the training
* Ensure that all security equipment is working properly, such as
cameras, dye packs and alarms.
* Establish liaisons with other financial institutions and local,
state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to exchange
information and identify regional crime problems.
* Perform ongoing risk assessment analyses of sites to determine
security needs. Use law enforcement to assist in performing crime
* Ensure you have the ability to provide law enforcement with
* Utilize or create reward programs.
* After consultation with law enforcement, publish photographs of
bank robber(s) using all available means -- news media, posters, the
* Support additional resources for local, state and federal law
* Request law enforcement representatives to provide employee
training or crime awareness seminars.
* Make assistance available to all employees, customers and other
community members involved in a bank robbery.
"While there is no foolproof method to deter all robberies from
occurring, it's incumbent upon all banks to make sure their security
policies are current and that all employees are trained to handle a
robbery situation before, during and after it occurs," Bock said. …