G4S introduces new anti-theft system to crack down on cash-in-transit heists

Security solutions group G4S Cash Solution has introduced a new sophisticated anti-theft system in its new South African fleet in partnership with UK-based fleet management company Imperial Group to make transfer of huge funds safer.

The project will cost around R450 million (US$51 million) over a five-year period.

“The armoured vehicles have an interlocking system coupled with four cameras and one-time code for both activating and deactivating. The interlocking system is controlled at head office,” said Hannes Venter, G4S Cash Solutions sales director.

Venter explained that the new system ensures that the vehicle shuts down in the event of an attack, protecting the staff as well as the customer assets in transit.
Each driver is given an electronic key to activate the system in the cab section, while the other two members of the crew have their own set of access keys. Both systems have to be active in order to open the back of the vehicle where the vault is located.

In case the vehicle comes under attack, messages are sent through a tracking system called ‘Scope’ that combines GPS and GSM cellular. GSM services are provided by Vodacom, but the system also works on MTN in case the vehicle goes out of Vodacom’s coverage area.

The new fleet includes large armoured vehicles that cost almost R1 million (US$114,000) each and have 2.5 tonnes of armour and technology.

The company will also introduce the same technology in Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania, where it has operations.

G4S has been grappling with cash-in-transit heists in South Africa and Kenya in particular. In 2009, South Africa recorded more 200 incidents, of which 30 were attacks on cash transit vehicles.

In Kenya, G4S has lost cash on several occasions, including a KSh313 million (US$3.75 million) heist back in 2010, something that left many security experts puzzled.

Following the adoption of new technologies by the banks and the transit companies, theft cases have been on the decline, and G4S hopes to completely eradicate this problem with their new technology.

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