POLICE will provide escorts to firms delivering cash in the busy Christmas shopping period, it has been revealed.

Lancashire Constabulary is working with SaferCash and the British Security Industry Association to prevent cash and valuable deliveries being targeted by criminals.

Officers will be using both high-visibility and covert patrols on the ground and in some cases will escort security vehicles as they carry out their normal deliveries, police said.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Leeson said: “Previous successful operations in the run up to Christmas, and indeed throughout the year, have meant that the number of cash in transit robberies committed in Lancashire is very low.

“However, these types of robberies often involve armed gangs who are prepared to use excessive levels of violence to secure large sums of money. “Our activity is aimed at targeting, deterring and disrupting criminals who carry out these robberies.

“We will target travelling criminals as the majority of offences are committed by offenders from outside the county; the whole force is working together to stop dangerous criminals coming into the county.

“This includes response and neighbourhood officers, as well as specialist teams such as firearms officers and roads policing officers. We are totally committed to keeping members of the public safe and protecting workers from criminals who are often prepared to use violence.”

A number of other tactics will be used including overt and covert CCTV monitoring, plus all cash containers will include either Smartwater or a dye, which will be released when they are opened.