Armed robbery can be a major issue for financial institutions, convenience stores, utility companies, and a variety of retail businesses that deal with a lot of cash or valuable goods. Not only do these incidents put employees, customers, and other visitors at risk; they can also lead to major financial and inventory loss.
Luckily, armed robbery statistics and violent crimes in general have gone down slightly in recent years. Part of this drop may be due to security measures put in place at banks and other facilities around the U.S. But these crimes still present a serious risk to companies, individuals, and groups throughout the country.
There isn’t a way to fully eliminate the risk for armed robbery at a facility. However, physical security measures like counterline systems or bandit barriers may help to lessen the impact and reduce the chances of these incidents occurring in the first place.
For the latest on armed robbery statistics and how bandit barriers and protective counterline systems can help, read on for a guide.
Armed Robbery Statistics in the U.S.
The FBI’s annual crime statistics report collects data from federal, state, county, city, university and college, and tribal law enforcement agencies around the country to determine the prevalence of a variety of crimes. In 2018, which is the most recent year with FBI crime statistics available, there were an estimated 1,206,836 violent crimes throughout the country. Additionally, the report found an estimated 7,196,045 property crimes throughout the U.S. And victims of those crimes suffered losses estimated at $16.4 billion. Of course, not all of these crimes involve armed robbery, but there are a significant amount of crimes that fall into this category. This report also found a reduction in these crimes over the past few years. But those numbers show that there are still significant risks in these areas.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics also releases an annual report about victimization of violent and property crimes. This report found that from 2015 to 2018, the portion of U.S. residents age 12 or older who were victims of violent crime rose from 0.98 percent to 1.18 percent, which is an increase of 20 percent.
Finally, Statista found that there were 96,490 robberies with a firearm in 2018. This makes it slightly less prevalent than strong-arm robberies, of which there were 108,541. However, it was significantly more prevalent than robberies committed with a knife or any other type of weapon.
Overall, what does the latest in armed robbery statistics indicate? Though numbers have generally decreased over the last couple of years, armed robbery is still a very prevalent issue across the U.S. and violent and property crimes remain an issue for individuals, businesses, organizations, and government facilities. So taking steps to protect people and property from these crimes may be beneficial or even necessary.
How Bandit Barriers And Transaction Windows Can Help
Bandit barriers or counterline systems are basically secure enclosures that are fabricated from bullet resistant acrylic or laminated polycarbonate glazing and installed on top of teller lines or cashier areas. These systems are custom built for the area and typically include multiple transaction areas with integral voice transmission and a door to provide secure entrance. In some cases the areas below the counter or walls surrounding the area are also secured and lined with bullet resistant fiberglass sheeting. The glazing and fiberglass used to construct these bandit barriers are tested for ballistic protection and available in UL752 levels 1-3. Level 1 product resists 3 shots of a 9mm handgun while level 3 product resisists 3 shots of a .44 Magnum. In both cases the products provide complete protection allowing for no penetration or spall to the safe side from any round.
Transactions windows are typically smaller units that are being installed into individual existing openings. These could be payment windows, customer service counters or a front desk where security is now required. Because these are typically framed units and don’t have exposed edges, glass clad polycarbonate glazing can be utilized which can provide higher levels of protection. Although most transaction windows are still UL752 levels 1-3, higher levels of protection including up to Level 8 are available. These transaction windows can be installed on top of existing counters or the counter can be included with the unit if desired.
In addition to the added protection, bandit barriers and transaction windows offer excellent aesthetics, with a clean look and crystal clarity that still allows customers or visitors and employees to see one another. They also allow for easy voice transmission so individuals on both sides of the material can easily converse to complete transactions or answer questions. Additionally, counterline systems can be customized with speak-thru features, currency trays, and even package passers to facilitate transactions and help people seamlessly do business without compromising safety.
In addition to providing a strong barrier that stops certain ballistic threats, bandit barriers may also act as a crime deterrent. When it comes to armed robbery, many perpetrators prefer to act at locations where they can easily get in and out. The presence of any physical barrier, especially those made of high quality, bullet resistant materials, should at the very least slow them down, if not prevent them from getting through entirely. This may make them think twice before choosing a particular location as a target, helping companies and facilities avoid these incidents altogether, thus helping customers and employees stay out of seriously stressful situations.
If you think that counterline systems or bandit barriers could help to protect your business or facility, contact Insulgard to discuss your options. We offer a wide array of bullet resistant solutions, including transaction windows, doors, and entryway systems. We can walk your team through every step of the process, from concept development to installation of the finished product. Our materials are well suited for projects ranging from a single location to a nationwide network of businesses; we even provide options with enough strength for government and military applications. Counterline systems can be customized to meet the specific needs of banks, convenience stores, government buildings, and retail establishments. And we work with a large network of installers to help customers across the nation get their protective systems in place quickly. To discuss how bandit barriers could benefit your business or organization, contact us today to get started.