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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 04:52 GMT
Concern at security van attacks
A security van after an attack
Attacks on security vans rose to 836 last year
One of Britain's biggest unions has voiced concern at the rising number of attacks on security vans carrying cash.

The GMB union, which represents security guards, says attacks are likely to top 1,000 this year - a 20% rise on last year's figure.

Union officials want urgent talks with senior police officers to call for more resources to tackle the problem.

Home Office minister Tony McNulty has written to chief constables to ask how they are dealing with the crimes.

Official figures show a steady rise in cash-in-transit crime since 2003, when there were 696 attacks.

Vicious attacks

In 2004 the figure rose to 765 and last year the number of robberies rose to 836. Many of them have included the use of firearms.

GMB officials are seeking talks with members of the Association of Chief Police Officers to call for more to be done to tackle the gangs willing to use guns.

The security industry also wants the offence reclassified from commercial crime because of the number of vicious attacks on guards.

The Home Office insisted that incidents were taken seriously and said Mr McNulty had written to chief constables in areas with serious problems to determine what was being done.

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