For the last five years, the world of Cash and Valuables in Transit (CVit) in the United Kingdom has been characterised by a steady, year-on-year rise in violent crime. The field has long been viewed by organised crime and opportunists as the target with the best reward to risk ratio, with unarmed guards working from 3,500 armoured vans across the UK carry around £700 billion around the street of Britain every year. This movement of cash is vital to the functioning of the UK economy with daily impact on cash-dependent businesses like banks and retailers. The problem is so severe that 75% of all CViT attacks take place in the United Kingdom.
DNA marking battles UK Cash in Transit crime
In the past, there has been little to prevent aggressors from targeting guards to steal CViT boxes. I met a young security guard who has been attacked a staggering 23 times over the course of his career. The guard, whose name can’t be mentioned due to privacy concerns, is trained in the martial arts and, remarkably is still working as a guard despite his multiple brushes with death.
Sophisticated measures are in place to have vans followed by the police, and many vans now carry the warning that “police follow this van”. Despite the warning, the real crime deterrent is the security features of the boxes themselves.
The CViT box is designed to prevent thieves from accessing stolen cash, and to ensure that thieves can be tracked and caught if found with or using the cash. The ability to link criminals to stolen cash is precisely what has finally led to the decline of CVIT attacks, since the peak of 1070 attacks in the UK in 2009.
Law Enforcement Technology at work
CViT boxes have been honed to be strong yet light enough to carry, technologically sophisticated yet user friendly. The core defence is a cash staining dye within the box, a highly corrosive ink originally designed to destroy the cash, but is now predominantly used to indelibly mark the cash and make it difficult to use. The unique taggants recently introduced in the UK provide the vital missing link between causing a mere nuisance for criminals, and actually allowing for convictions. When boxes are detonated, dye containing a unique DNA code is released onto the notes. Once the DNA makes contact with notes, it cannot be removed. Similarly, if the dye and DNA land on skin or other property, the DNA binds for up to 350 years.
In 2010, one gang who alone were responsible for 23 raids in the London area were caught and prosecuted using taggants. Now DNA has been used to identify and successfully prosecute 16 criminals who have been sentenced to an aggregate 122 years in prison.
DNA Taggants: a watershed moment
Taggants have created a watershed moment in the fight against CViT crime, in October 2010 Applied DNA Sciences became the first non-police organisation to win an ACPO award for Excellence in Policing, alongside Lancashire Police, for convicting the criminals responsible for shooting a Loomis security guard in Blackburn. CViT statistics have dropped for the first time in years. International interest is now focused on the UK and how taggants have impacted the fight against the CViT plague.
By Janice Meraglia, Mitchell Miller and James A. Hayward, Applied DNA Sciences, Inc.
This white paper discusses the regulations and specifications that a relevant to Signature DNA marking as provided to suppliers of FSC 5962 microcircuits to the Defense Logistics Agency. It shows that the SigNature DNA taggant is considered a "special mark." The paper makes clear that SigNature DNA marking is not considered a "remark" of a component, an action that may be subjected to additional testing. The taggant does not void a Manufacturer's Warranty, provided that the manufacturer issues a one-time approval to the marking service.
Please click here to download the technical brief.