The humble bank cashier is being turned into a crime fighting hero, manning the front-line in the war against so-called “doorstep fraudsters”, who con pensioners out of the millions of pounds each year.
High street banks have long displayed signs in branches warning older customers about withdrawing large sums of money to pay for either unnecessary or concocted building work.
Now bank staff who suspect a customer has been targeted will be able to dial 999 on their behalf to summon police to the branch immediately.
The initiative, dubbed “the banking protocol”, is beng rolled out across the UK, following successful trials in London, which it is claimed saved pensioners more than £1m in just four months.
Police investigated 84 crimes, and arrested 14 people, although they only secured one conviction.
Detective chief inspector Andrew Gould told The Sunday Times Money: “The criminals are often very plausible and convincing. They will do unnecessary repairs around the house and then offer to bring the victim to their local branch to withdraw large sums of cash.
“Bank staff are the front-line against these criminals as they know their customers well and can identify suspicious behaviour.”
To leave a comment please register – it takes less than a minute and is free of charge. You will also get our weekly email update The DM Report (to opt out contact email@example.com). If you are an existing user, please log in. If you have forgotten your log-in details please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get them reset!