POLICE have launched a major crackdown to help combat cash-in-transit robberies in the lead up to Christmas.

More officers and a range of tactics will be deployed to help protect security vehicles as they make their deliveries in the busier festive period.

This includes using armed police vehicles escorting high-risk security vehicles as they carry out cash deliveries, CCTV monitoring and patrol cars following cash-handling vehicles.

All cash containers will include either Smartwater or a dye, which will be released when they are opened, marking the notes so they are both unusable and traceable.

Police and the security industry revealed details of the operation as part of a bid to raise awareness of the serious and wide-ranging consequences of the crimes affecting the vehicles at this time of year.

They revealed that nationally there has been significant success in combating cash-in-transit robberies with 66 offenders being convicted and sentenced to more than 500 years in prison since 2018.

The North West Regional Organised Crime Unit joined the British Security Industry to unveil an animation showcasing the effects of cash-in-transit robberies.

It shows how a robbery can have multiple repercussions — from witnesses and victims struggling with trauma to local businesses being closed due to a lack of money.

Sarah Staff, Head of SaferCash said: “Although we have seen a reduction in cash-in-transit robberies in recent years, we are not complacent. We’re committed to working with police forces to make sure criminals don’t see these type of offences as easy ways to make money, because they most definitely are not."

All North West Police Forces, in partnership with the security industries, will continue to share intelligence and provide assistance for cross-border deliveries throughout the Christmas period and in the following months.

Police have also asked the public to be vigilant and help stop violent crime by reporting any suspicious behaviour by calling 101 or speaking to their local force.