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by Emmanuel Joseph

Business houses in Barbados are continuing to put their employees’ lives at risk, rather than taking advantage of the “minimum” costs of hiring professional security firms to take large sums of money to commercial banks.

Police Crime Prevention Officer, Station Sergeant Stephen Griffith told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that businesses don’t seem to be listening to the advice of the Royal Barbados Police Force with respect to this serious situation.

“Business people should not put the lives of their staff at risk by allowing them to take large sums of money to banks. Use professional services at minimum costs and all will be well,” Griffith said.

“They [businesses] are doing the same thing at the same time, every day. When you do this, you establish a pattern, which makes it easy for the criminals to follow and monitor the workers carrying the money,” he pointed out.

The police crime prevention officer spoke against the background of today’s†daring daylight robbery on an access road leading to Fontabelle, St. Michael, in which a courier was relieved of the cash deposit he was going to make at the nearby CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank on behalf of a business.

He recalled that last year when a similar robbery took place involving the same bank, he spoke out and warned businesses against putting their employees’ lives in danger.

“It [robbery] is happening because people are getting to know the trend,” noted the veteran police officer.

Operations Manager of Amalgamated Security Services Limited, Shawn Dunbreaker told this newspaper that business houses were not generally using professional security courier services to transport money to banks.

Dunbreaker explained that because of the existence of three major security companies that provide money courier services, the rates were very competitive. The security expert argued that there were tangible benefits of using professional armoured car services.

He reasoned that businesses would see lower exposure to risk.

“You can reduce the risk of your business being an attractive target for criminals, by removing excess cash, thereby limiting your exposure to internal and external theft,” added Dunbreaker.

He also listed increased productivity, cost savings, improved customer service and greater peace of mind as other tangible benefits.

Reporting on today’s robbery, Police Public Relations Officer Inspector David Welch said the attack occurred at about noon, while the worker was on his way to the CIBC Fontabelle branch. Welch, who was unable to say if a weapon was used, reported that the assailant pounced on the man and took away his bag of cash and cheques. The amount of money was not revealed.

Police reported the suspect is about five feet, ten inches in height, medium build, of dark complexion, wearing a cream polo shirt and has a low, knotty hair style.

They are appealing to members of the public to assist them with information that could lead to the capture of this wanted man. Up to the time of writing, the name of the victim, who was not seriously hurt, had not been revealed.

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