Three special awards for Outstanding Service and one Special Commendation were handed out to six cash-in-transit couriers by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) at its Annual Lunch.
The awards, which are sponsored by the Post Office Cash Services Limited, aim to acknowledge the outstanding courage, initiative and composure exhibited by cash-in-transit couriers in the face of exceptional, challenging or dangerous situations.
Discussing the value of the awards, Chief Executive of the BSIA, James Kelly, comments: “The hard work and invaluable contributions of cash-in-transit couriers can sometimes be overlooked, but it is extremely important to remember that they provide an essential public service, and as a result, can be faced with life-threatening situations.
“This year’s award winners have all been confronted by extraordinary circumstances where their welfare has been compromised, yet remained calm and professional throughout the whole ordeal. They truly deserve their awards and we are so pleased to have people like them working within our industry.”
This year’s CVIT Special Award winners are:
- Stephen Fearn of G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd – Stephen was conducting a cash-in-transit service on his own for a bank when he was faced with a serious situation. After advising the bank of his presence, personnel began their timer on a safe so that Stephen may commence his delivery. It was when Stephen returned to the banking hall to collect his last container that an attacker suddenly ran into the hall, swearing aggressively and waving a gun in Stephen’s direction. The attacker held the gun to Stephen’s head, demanding the box to be opened. Knowing that the box was empty, Stephen offered the attacker the box in the hope that he would take it and run, however, the attacker demanded that it be opened. Once he realised it was empty, the attacker – still holding the gun to Stephen’s head – forced Stephen to the counter and demanded staff to hand over money. Realising the severity of the situation, Stephen advised the member of staff to comply with the attacker, who then took the money and ran. Luckily, the attacker was remanded in custody shortly following the incident. Throughout a terrifying ordeal, Stephen remained calm and ensured that neither himself nor any member of staff were injured during the incident.
- Michael Grundy and Paul Redhead of G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd – Paul and Michael exhibited extreme level headedness in the face of danger when they were confronted by three attackers wielding machetes. The pair had been replenishing an ATM at a service station. They were in the ATM room preparing to make the walk back to their vehicle to off-load a cassette when they were faced with two attackers, brandishing machetes, who snatched the cassette out of Michael’s hands. Forcing their way into the ATM room, the attackers then demanded that Paul retrieve all the cassettes out of the machine. Calmly, Paul explained that he machine was fitted with bars and they could no longer access the machine. At this point, a third attacker arrived and demanded that Michael give him the other cassette, which Michael calmly explained he could not do unless he was on the vehicle. The attacker demanded that Michael move to the vehicle to open the box and pass him the contents; Michael complied with this instruction but passed him an empty cassette. This satisfied the attackers, causing them to flee the scene without realising they had not gained any cash. Both couriers remained extremely calm and alert throughout the situation, allowing them to make quick decisions that prevented the company from making any losses.
- Derek Mullin and Hamilton Queen of G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd – Hamilton and Derek are being awarded for their bravery when they were faced with two attackers whilst carrying out a service at a college. Hamilton had remained in the vehicle, whilst Derek was making the journey to the building with a third cassette when he was approached by an attacker demanding the box and wielding a long blade. At this point, the situation worsened when a second attacker appeared carrying an axe. Calmly, Derek placed the box on the ground and informed the attackers that he was unable to open it. The attackers then forced Derek up the stairs to the ATM and demanded that he open it, once again, Derek refused to do so. In their frustration of being unable to force the machine open, the attackers began slashing at Derek with their weapons, causing cuts to his hands and severing two tendons. Despite this, Derek was still able to call the police, keeping calm at all times and being sure not to put the safety of himself or Hamilton at further risk.
Speaking about the awards, Gavin Windsor, G4S Director of Risk, commented: “Each year, G4S moves £300 billion around the country, and our couriers are the backbone of what we do, keeping the pound in the pocket of our customers and members of the public. This work is not without risk, and I am incredibly proud of our five colleagues who have been recognised with this special award for their calm and bravery in threatening and violent situations. They represent the dedication to service of all of our couriers who deliver for our customers each and every day with outstanding courage and professionalism.”
The recipient of this year’s CVIT Special Commendation is:
- Robert Gilmour of Loomis UK Ltd – Robert was carrying out an ATM Replenishment Service on a machine situated inside a supermarket store. He was on his third walk into the store carrying a box that contained a large amount of cash when he was violently attacked by a robber wielding an axe who viciously struck him about the head, neck and upper body. Despite his best efforts, the attacker was able to retrieve the box from Robert and run from the store. However, luckily, the automatic doors at the store prevented the robber from making a quick getaway and Robert was able to grab hold of the attacker and the cash box. With the help of members of the public and a store guard, the attacker was overpowered and restrained until the Police arrived and made an arrest. Robert displayed enormous courage throughout the ordeal, helping to stop the robber from getting away, despite his own injuries. Speaking modestly about his achievement Robert commented: “I am honoured to be put forward for this award. I do realise the risk that is out there when servicing the customers but this is the industry we work in. I was only doing my job.”
The awards were presented to the couriers by Commander Steve Rodhouse, Commander for Gang and Organised Crime for the Metropolitan Police, at the Association’s annual luncheon, which took place on 16th July at the London Hilton on Park Lane.