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Cash handling and transit
- Use credit or debit cards to help keep cash to a minimum.
- Provide an adequate safe.
- You could use a safe with a letterbox drop facility and time locks. Transfer excess cash to the safe regularly. Keep the safe locked and change the combination frequently. Night safes may be useful as they can be used anytime. If possible, have two people as key holders for safes, and check that keys are not left on the premises. Devices are now available that can only be accessed by a pin number via a keypad.
- Use signs to clearly state that there is minimal cash on premises/limited cash in tills.
- For example: 'time delay safes are used' or 'no money is left on the premises' or 'employees cannot open the safes'.
- Ensure charity boxes are in clear view of staff and securely fastened.
- Leave the till empty and open overnight.
- Use a strong cash box and, if possible, two staff when manually collecting cash from tills - one can act as a lookout.
- At the end of the working day, before cashing up and securing the premises, check everywhere for potential criminals. This includes toilets/store room/domestic areas and other concealed areas where criminals may be hiding.
- Try to locate the main cash handling area as far as possible from customer areas.
- Count cash away from, and out of view of, customer areas and as far away from entrances/exits or public areas as possible. Check that the office and/or storeroom has a suitable lock, is alarmed and has doors that are not easily forced. Consider passive sensors and arrangements that allow staff to see outside without people seeing in, eg a small one-way window or spy-hole kept unobstructed with the access area well lit.
- When counting money in the office, carefully identify callers before letting them in.
- It is good practice not to keep large sums of cash in one location, and not to allow money to build up in the tills, especially during the evening and late at night.
- Empty tills at frequent intervals, irregular times, and not in front of customers. Regularly remove high-value notes from tills and store in a safe or a secure cash box. Encourage staff to deposit larger notes immediately into drop safes or time-release safes (but out of the view of the customer).
- Advise staff never to turn away from an open till draw.
- Using a professional cash collection service will eliminate any risk to your staff.
Cash in transit
If you or your staff transport cash:
- Think about your personal safety, if attacked surrender cash!
- Vary the route and time of day when you go to the bank so your movements cannot be predicted.
- Wear your own clothing rather than your uniform so that you are less conspicuous.
- Bank your money regularly to keep cash to a minimum.
- Check the area outside your premises and any transport before leaving the premises or bank.
- Ensure staff are trained and made aware of what precautions they should take when they are transporting large sums of money.
- If possible, travel by vehicle rather than on foot or public transport. Take care with taxis - always use a reputable firm. Drive passenger vehicles that have no distinguishing features. If possible, try not to use the same car each time and ensure any vehicle used is maintained. Ensure your drivers are insured for business purposes and have a valid licence.
- Forewarn the bank of expected arrival time and inform another staff member staff of expected return time.
- Use secure security bags or unmarked bags/containers to carry cash and do not draw attention to them. You could also use cash-carrying waistcoats, as well as security bags, to divide the risk.
- Avoid using quiet streets and alleyways. If possible, you should use a busy route and walk in the centre of the pavement facing oncoming traffic. You should establish vulnerable spots en route and maintain extra vigilance in those areas.
- Avoid banking alone. You should only make the journey when other people will be around. Take an escort as a witness should anything happen. If possible, choose physically fit people to do the banking and rotate the task so it is not always the same person visiting the bank.
If you use a security firm to transport your cash:
- Vary your collection times.
- Introduce a system to confirm the identity of the security staff. Their ID card should be presented and checked. Advise your staff that guards should be in the uniform of the security company, and if they are suspicious of the guard they should not directly confront the guard, but alert the police and security company as soon as possible.
- Work closely with your security company to assess risks and implement the necessary control measures. Choose a reputable company, a member of the British Security Industry Association.