CASH-in-transit robberies are on the rise in Essex with more incidents happening in the county last year than in the rest of eastern England.
Security guards delivering cash were targeted on 38 separate occasions in 2008, compared to 26 incidents dealt with by police forces in Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk combined.
Essex also came fourth highest for this type of robbery when compared to the rest of the UK.
The previous year saw 36 cash- in-transit robberies in Essex.
The number of robberies has risen despite a national trend which has seen cash-in-transit robberies fall six per cent from 2007 to 2008.
Detective Chief Inspector Julie MacFarlane, from Essex Police said the number of robberies had actually fallen in the first six months of last year, but there was a sudden rise in the latter half of the year.
She said: "During a three-month period in summer 2008 (June-August), there were 13 cash-in-transit robberies in Essex, compared with just eight in the same period during 2007.
"As a result of this surge, Essex Police implemented a number of initiatives to undertake a strategic approach to apprehending the criminals.
"Through work with neighbouring forces, a number of suspects have been arrested, charged with offences and are currently proceeding through the criminal justice system.
"In addition, Essex Police has been working with the British Security Industry to formulate both a covert and overt policy surrounding the prevention of crimes."
Essex Police managed to recover Â£90,000 from the 42 cash-in-transit robberies during November 2007 and October 2008. A total of 21 people were charged with robbery offences, with several others arrested.
John Bates, chief executive of the British Security Industry Association, who recorded the national decrease, said: "Our partnership work saw a real reduction in cash-in-transit crime in the first half of 2008. This was testament to the commitment of all involved who are determined to combat this serious crime. The rise in attacks in the second half of the year is a worrying trend."
Essex finished behind West Midlands Police, which investigated 68 incidents, Greater Manchester Police which recorded 81, with the Metropolitan Police Service dealing with 510.
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