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Cash-in-transit robberies in India: Agencies need GPS solutions

Whenever we stumble upon a bank cash van loot news, we wonder why and how. How can certain reputed banks be too casual to hire agencies that don’t have cash-in-transit vans furnished with GPS trackers or CCTVs? How can the banks approve sending away cash boxes guarded by only three people? Why are only two armed guards assigned for each van?

There are too many ‘Why’s. Axis, HDFC, Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India were the ones to appear on the cash van loot headlines since last year. All these are considered as premier banks in India and any news of cash loot creates a panic among their customers.

Although the banks manage to cover the losses by claiming cash-in-transit insurance, it’s the security agencies that face the music, go through all sorts of investigation harassments and also lose the goodwill. In worst cases, banks too find difficulty to get the insured amount if it’s found that any employee was involved.

Security agencies are chiefly accountable for any such incident. In many cases armed guards they provided, did play key roles in the loot. Drivers too appeared as partners in crime. We can cite the case of Union Bank of India cash van loot in 2014. It took place near Patna. Instead of taking the usual route the driver ended up on an almost deserted road where armed looters robbed the van. Anyone can guess that it was pre-planned.

Axis Bank tops the chart in such incidents. Almost every month we get news flashes, sometimes from the north zone and sometimes from the west. It’s not at all a ‘small town’ affair as in 2015 only, we can remember at least two robberies—one in Mumbai and the other near Pune. It seems like cash vans of this particular bank are hot favorite of the robbers.

We just wonder what’s wrong with their cash-in-transit service providers. First of all, only two armed guards are not enough whichever distance the van goes. Secondly, if there is no GPS tracker or CCTV, then the service is too outdated. We can give 4 reasons these agencies should buy GPS solutions—

•Such solutions provide real-time tracking of vehicles on the road and after deployment the vehicle managers or concerned officers of the bank can track the activities of the vans round the clock with the help of a map window. The vehicles appear as icons.

•With the geo-fence boundary presetting option, no driver can ever deviate a route. If anyone does, the vehicle manager will get instant SMS alert of geo-fence exit. He can inquire promptly, contact the police and avoid the possibilities of attack.

•By saving the scheduled halt location details and approximate duration of halts on the tracker devices, vehicle operators can remain notified of every unscheduled halt. They also can view the real-time position of the vehicles on the map.

GPS based vehicle tracking system cannot fight with the robbers but the solution can let the crew members send an SOS via panic buttons if any attempt has been made. These buttons are silent on-site but bell-ringers at the nearest police stations. And if police can rush to the location on time, robbers can hardly escape.

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