Not a single bank robbery was committed in Denmark last year.
The national interest organisation for banks, Finans Danmark, released the positive crime statistic on Tuesday and trade union for the financial sector Finansforbundet was quick to praise it.
“It’s nothing less than fantastic. Because it’s a very extreme burden on staff every time it happens,” the union’s deputy chairperson Steen Lund Olsen said in a statement.
The number of bank robberies in Denmark has generally been low in recent years, with an average number under 10 each year since 2017.
Those numbers contrast to the rate of bank robberies at the turn of the century, when 221 bank robberies – almost 2 every 3 days – were committed in 2000.
One explanation for the trend is the move from banks away from having cash vaults on site. According to Finansforbundet, Denmark’s largest lender Danske Bank has just one vault in Copenhagen and one in Aarhus.
Several other factors can also be credited for the low number of bank robberies in recent years, said Michael Busk-Jepsen, director of digitisation at Finans Danmark.
“This is a coordinated effort that has taken place over many years, including camera surveillance, alarm systems, stronger cooperation with the police and limitation of cash holdings,” he said.
Some 12 industrial injury cases are currently ongoing related to PTSD from bank robberies between 2002 and 2018, according to the Finansforbundet union.
Although bank staff in Denmark did not suffer a robbery last year, they are still subjected to other hazards at work including threats and violence. These are increasingly in digital form.
“There are still staff – particularly in customer-facing roles – who receive abuse via email or telephone. Staff who are threatened in both virtual and physical meetings. That is unacceptable,” Olsen said.
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