Wednesday, January 07, 2004

We made our escapes walking 15 miles! In the snow! 

Bank robberies just aren't what they're used to be in England:

“Standards are down,” asserts Terry Smith, who carried out a string of security van robberies in 1980s London. “Most robbers now get caught up in drugs, and they don't plan properly. The professionalism has gone.”


Roger Matthews, professor of criminology at Middlesex University, says that armed robbery is becoming Americanised, both in the sense that Britain is moving towards late-night convenience store robberies, and also in the sense that anyone can do it. The rise of unskilled robbery—junkies with guns and no previous experience—is bad news for shop workers, who are less well trained in dealing with guns than are bank tellers; it is also bad for the police, who tend to find ill-thought-out crimes harder to solve than planned ones.

For the most part, old dogs disdain the new tricks, which they regard as the preserve of drug-addled thugs. Officers in the Flying Squad—the arm of the London Metropolitan Police that deals with armed robbery—say that professional stick-up men tend to follow defined tracks. Betting shop specialists will rarely rob post offices, for example. Mr Smith claims, with a touch of pride, that he never robbed a shop, nor even a building society.
(Via Jane Galt)
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