FBI data sheds light on how banks use security solutions

Only 4.7 percent of the banks involved use security guards but 99 percent use cameras


Today the FBI issued statistics for bank crimes in the second quarter of 2010; the Bureau reported 1,146 bank crimes, a number which is down from the same quarter a year ago, when there were 1,304 reported incidents. The FBI cautioned that these statistics held little value. "Not all bank crimes are reported to the FBI, and therefore the report is not a complete statistical compilation of all bank crimes that occurred in the U.S.," wrote the FBI.

But from the reported incidents in the second quarter of 2010, the FBI reported that most were robberies (1,135 robberies, comprising over 99 percent of the incidents). Additionally, there were 11 burglaries, and a single case of extortion). No larcenies were reported for the quarter, which began April 1 and ended June 31, 2010.

Using the reported crimes, the FBI was able to identify some trends in the incidents. Bank crimes (and most were robberies) typically occurred between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Friday was the day on which crimes most frequently occurred, though it was not significantly more frequent than any other typical banking business day, excluding Saturday. Some 91 percent of the crimes saw loot taken, and that totaled more than $8.4 million in the quarter. Only 21 percent of that loot was recovered. Most of the robbers were still using "oral demands and demand notes" to convey their robbery intentions.

Finally, and very soberly, 1 in every 20 incidents saw an act of violence committed as part of the crime.

Now, for the numbers important to the security technology industry: According to the FBI's Q2 2010 bank crime statistics, only 12 of the banks hit by a crime didn't have video surveillance cameras in place. Some 16 of the total banks hit during the quarter didn't have an alarm system. Some 720 of the banks (63 percent) employed bait money. Only 54 (4.7 percent) used security guards. Approximately 23 percent of the banks involved used tear gas/dye packs; 12 percent used electronic tracking technologies, and 12 percent also used bullet-resistant enclosures.

In the roughly 99 percent of incidents where the banks had surveillance cameras, the cameras were working in slightly more than 96 percent of the incidents. The alarm system was reported to have functioned even less. Of the 1,130 banks hit which had alarm systems, it was only reported as functioning in 1,041 of the incidents -- just 92 percent of the time!

Take a look at the FBI's full Q2 2010 bank crime statistics.