A critical approach of cash-in-transit regulation and organisation from a situational crime prevention perspective


This article aims to assess the current Belgian CIT Decree of 2003, which can be considered to be the most stringent of all European Countries, from a situational crime preventive perspective in order to formulate recommendations as the current legal framework is due to be reviewed. It is argued that although the legislator clearly bases the underlying CIT policy on theoretical principles of situational crime prevention, the practical translation lacks consistency and direction: several measures contradict each other, the added value is questionable and/or gives rise to practical implementation issues. This article generates an insight of how situational crime prevention is and can be used in a CIT-setting.

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  1. 1.

    Eight attacks and 2 attempts in 2005 and 5 attacks and 3 attempts in 2006; since April 24th 2006, no more attacks on notes transport were registered.

  2. 2.

    Options for notes transport: 1—Art. 14: transport of banknotes in an unarmoured CIT-vehicle of ordinary appearance equipped with IBNS. 2—Art. 15: transport of banknotes in an unarmoured CIT-vehicle with a clear marking indicating that it is equipped with IBNS. 3—Art. 16: transport of banknotes in a cabin-armoured CIT-vehicle equipped with IBNS. 4—Art. 17: transport of banknotes in a fully armoured CIT-vehicle not equipped with IBNS. 5—Art. 18: transport of banknotes in a fully armoured CIT-vehicle equipped with IBNS.

  3. 3.

    In Belgium, the main legal instrument is a law which needs to approved by the parliament and is—notwithstanding the constitution—on top of the legal hierarchy. Next, there is a Royal Decree and subsequent a Ministerial Decree. Both Decrees are an initiative of the government that does not need to be approved by the parliament; the difference between both Decrees lays in the fact that a Royal Decree needs to be signed by the King and secondly by a member of the Government. In total 45 Royal and/or Ministerial Decree’s are drafted in order to describe the modalities for specific private securities activities as set out in the Private Security Law of 2017.

  4. 4.

    All cited articles from these legal frameworks are a translation from the official text published in the Official Journal of the Kingdom of Belgium (Het Belgisch Staatsblad/Le Moniteur Belge).

  5. 5.

    Art. 5 3°, 4° and 5° describes three exceptions. Discussing in detail these exceptions will go beyond the scope and objective of this article.

  6. 6.

    A secured room is a room at a stopping point which needs to be specially designed in order to receive a CIT-crew (Cf. infra).

  7. 7.

    One hundred and twenty-one cross-pavement attacks in 2016 and 154 in 2017 (ESTA 2018).

  8. 8.

    The other four categories are in brief (1) the transport coins coming from parking metres and the so-called ‘light CIT’ (small amount of notes), (3) the transport of notes without an IBNS is used but which is protected by the police, (4) the CIT-escort of a transport conducted by a third party and (5) ATM replenishments and interventions on ATM’s.

  9. 9.


  10. 10.

    ‘Neutralisation system’


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Hardyns, W., Cools, M. & Maes, O. A critical approach of cash-in-transit regulation and organisation from a situational crime prevention perspective. Secur J 33, 515–530 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41284-019-00188-4

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  • Cash-in-transit
  • Situational crime prevention
  • Security
  • Offender
  • Opportunity