Lancashire Constabulary is launching an operation to crack down on high value robberies during the festive season.
Operation Vault will focus on travelling criminals coming to Lancashire to target ATMs, cash in transit and commercial premises.
While Lancashire remains a safe place to live and work, this season traditionally sees a rise in this type of crime, when there is more cash in circulation.
We will use ANPR and intelligence to secure roads in and out of Lancashire and target known offenders and organised crime groups to prevent these robberies from taking place.
Where robberies do take place, we will take tough action to catch offenders and bring them to justice.
We are calling for businesses and shoppers to remain vigilant during the busy shopping season.
- Be vigilant in relation to persons behaving suspiciously around ATMs including early hours of the morning. This may include groups of persons, vehicles or plant equipment near the ATM particularly in isolated locations.
- Look out for anyone acting furtively in post offices, service stations and supermarkets. This may include paying attention to CCTV or to security deliveries.
- Ensure that if you manage such premises you ensure CCTV is focussed on the ATM and is in good working order.
In June six men were arrested in dawn raids after a string of ash in transit robberies across East Lancashire and Greater Manchester.
They are set to stand trial in March 2018.
Last year three men were jailed for a total of 39 years and four months following the armed robbery of Humberstones Jewellers in King William Street, Blackburn.
During the raid, four men forced their way into the shop with their faces covered, armed with axes and machetes.
They smashed their way through every glass cabinet, stealing jewellery and watches in excess of £300,000 and causing thousands of pounds of damage.
One of the men threatened a member of the public with an axe as they made their escape and shoppers and staff were left terrified by the raid.
At Preston Crown Court on February 11 2016, Danny Booth, 27, of Park Road, Westhoughton was sentenced to seven years, six months and Scott Marsden, 28, of Chapel Close, Wigan handed a 19 year sentence, which included time for other drugs related offences.
On November 24 2016, Steven Anderson, 33, of Montserrat Avenue, Bolton, was jailed for 12 years and six months for his part in the raid.