Incidence of bank robbery is a growing phenomenon in Nigeria. Nationwide, at a point in time an average of three bank robbery is recorded monthly, and following these incessant bank robberies, leaders of different communities have summoned countless emergency meetings to find a lasting solution to the problem. The question now is, are banks worried about frequent attacks being launched on them by bank robbers? Or is it because they believe they are insured and will always be indemnified at the event of such occurrences? It is good enough that the pronouncement on the banking sector reform is design to ensure a diversified strong and reliable banking sector which will ensure safety deposit of money, play active development roles in the Nigerian economy, so will it be wise enough for the banking sector to introduce security measures to secure against robbery attacks so as to boost public confidence. If the kind of security that is being placed at every head/corporate office of every bank is placed at every of their available branches in Nigeria, then the idea of robbing a bank will not be conceived as heavily armed low enforcement are seen everywhere to ensure non conception of such ideas with sophisticated and advance gadget installed to forestall illegal entries.
The first Anti Bank Robbery Workshop ever to be hosted was initiated in Nigeria by Safety Alliance International in October 2006, with the theme “Meeting the Security Challenges of the New Mega Banks” with notable speakers from different works of life. The essence of the workshop is to give an insight to the prevailing issues on Bank Robbery and make suggestion to possible solutions on bank robbery attacks. The question now is, has there been improvement in the strategies for combating robbery attack on banks? This is a question that is yet to be answered.
The successful completion of banks consolidation exercise has increase the amount of money available in different branches and successful robbery operation in most of these banks has resulted to a huge loss for the bank involved. Just like the just concluded robbery at Ikorodu where grapevine has it that N20 million was carted away from the Automated Teller Machine and N80 million from the vault. The loss incurred after every robbery attack is not usually made public as this will lead to loss of confidence from investors and customers.
The essence of this write up is not to gather statistic of the alarming bank robbery incidence but, to introduce a solution which involves the creation of a special unit that will combat, reduce and gradually eliminate robbery attack on banks in Nigeria.
1.2 TREND OF BANK ROBBERY
Up till this very moment, the reason for increase in bank robbery attack in Nigeria has not been determined. Different opinion has been sought and different views held.
Below we tend to highlight some of the opinion held by citizen of Nigeria, and they are as follows;
- Poor security network system between the banks and the police along with the unavailability of equipped private security firms in the country
- Inefficiency of the police, lack of training, insufficient sophisticated equipment, funding and indiscipline and Inadequate surveillance on banks by law enforcement agents
- Lack of government support to both the banks and law enforcement agents coupled with unreliable security system within the bank premises
- Unemployment and lack of economic development.
- Lack of knowledge of the convergence in technologies by banks, ineffective use of CCTV with the nonchalant attitude of bank management on security of customers
- Non-Adoption of a cashless society and refusal to embrace the idea of pressing towards a card driven society
- Lack and inappropriate use of bank emergency alarm button directly connected to the nearest police station and /or monitoring unit for quick response in case of robbery
- Inadequate policies relating to security measure on banks by the government and or Apex Bank with unavailability of a monitoring unit concerned and tasked with bank security and procedure
- Bad eggs among-st the police (due to low level of remuneration and compensation) and staff compromise
From what is happening in the Nigerian economy today, bank robbery activities appear to be a re-occurring feature in our present society. There are these increasing categories of bank robbery that are really baffling, senseless, often shocking and vicious leading to death of individual. The task of protection continues to be increasingly complex one at a time when technology is creating new products at explosive rate.
Security problems remain universal phenomena and continue to take frightening dimension.
For many years, banks has been on the receiving end of attacks from robbers and faced with the arduous task of finding the most effective means of countering the menace of bank robbery.
Security protection on banks tends to focus on a stable and predictable environment in which banks introduces legitimate ends without obstruction or harm and without fear of disturbance or injury from such perpetrators. Bank robbery tendencies emanated from the selfish desire of human greed in other to enjoy wealth that they did not work for or merit.
Bank robbery is a condemned behaviour in the society and any anywhere in the world. Bank robbery is described as an action committed in violation of the law that prohibits it and authorizes punishment for its commission. It is noteworthy that bank robbery is a condemned act in all societies .Most of the perpetrators of bank robbery are person who began their criminal careers at young ages and for some it was studied like a professional course before venturing into.
1.3 REASONS FOR INCREASE IN BANK ROBBERY
It is gradually becoming a fact that bank robbery is becoming a booming business in Nigeria among men of the underworld. This act is not limited to the young ones alone but includes adults who have resorted to make a living out of the act of robbing bank. What we fail to notice is that this act is rising at an unprecedented level. The inability of the appropriate authority to arrest and bring criminals to justice is added incentive to crime perpetration in the country. For every progress of bank robbery recorded, it gives intending bank robbers the hope of venturing into the act. The corresponding advancement in telecommunication technology which makes contact between criminals easier has added fillip to individual and collective insecurity. The present generation of bank robbers has proven to be more daring; blood thirstier, deadlier and even better equipped to practice this evil vocation. Everybody now appears to be a potential victim, every financial institution in as much as it keeps large sum of cash in its safe is a potential target. We live daily with the menace of enemy without name or identification and danger without postal address or reference. This implying that staff of banks, invariably live in fear of the unknown of unwanted criminal besieging them at an unknown time. Crime will therefore, continue to increase in the society due to some of the following reasons:
- Availability of guns / lethal weapons and easy access to drugs by miscreants, street urchins and men of the underworld.
- Lack of co-operation with the law enforcement agencies by the public (even victims) as far as sourcing for information is concerned
- Extreme economic deprivation causing blistering state of unemployment in the country
- Life styles of many people with dubious pedigrees around us
- Lack of appropriate training, equipment, logistic support, welfare and motivation for the security agencies to confront the increasing wave of crime
- Lack of necessary liaison and inter connectivity among the diverse agencies charged with the responsibility of crime control.
- Lack of mutual cooperation and understanding for enhancement of better performance. No sharing of security information or protection of source
- Lack of adequate and timely compensation for injuries or fatalities sustained in the course of fighting crime
- Unresolved conflicts and problems in the society, government and business organizations. There are so many ‘cold’ case files gathering dusts on the police shelf.
While the list above is endless, we should take a close look at the ways at which bank robbery can really be reduced and finally eliminated. This will be in my next publication.