The traditional ‘bank job’ may be a thing of the past. The BBC website reports that security and technology in the finance sector have improved so much over the last decade or so, that robbers are finding it harder and harder to extract money from banks, post offices and building societies. In the nine years between 1992 and 2011, such robberies fell from 847 a year to just 66 – a quite staggering reduction.
The security experts probably don’t want to give too much away so there’s not a massive amount of detail on how the robbers are being deterred, although there are mentions for ‘smart water’ technology (which coats the villains with a traceable substance) and for my own favourite, a special ‘fog’ which apparently disorientates criminals. (What stops it disorientating nearby bank staff isn’t, sadly, explained.)
All this is great news for all the poor suckers who have to work as cashiers, delivery drivers, post office counter staff and the like, who no longer take their life in their hands every time they clock on for work. It’s also good news for insurance companies, taxpayers and the banks themselves, who no longer have to fund the vast sums being stolen.
Spare a thought for us crime writers, though. What are we going to write about if there are no more bank jobs?