Last week San Diego experienced an unprecedented three major take-over style bank robberies in one day. In the past two weeks there have been an astounding number of kidnapping bank employees and their families for vault ransom, the type of bank robbery we were victims of, and today bank robberies in New York came in a wave of five in a short period of time and relatively short distance. These are all signs of economical times that bring desperation to a very high and unmanageable level.
Reports show that the FBI was gearing up for an increase in bank robberies during the holidays. This is typically the time of year we see high numbers of robberies due to the pressures of the holiday season spending and gift giving. With the recession in the mix and knowing from past recessions such as in 2001 where record numbers of robberies were reported, it is no surprise that everyone is on edge. But what is being done to better protect and train front line staff and those handling America's cash and what is being said about the reality of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Not much.
The training is the same and there is little to no mention about the reality of the aftermath of such a violent incident. The policies and procedures are the same as over a decade ago and the FDIC is definitely not holding banks to the standards of "deterring" robbers and training staff according to current robbery trends as mandated in the Bank Security Act of 1968.
The Los Angeles metro area has had nearly 200 bank robberies this year, compared with 156 at the same time last year, according to FBI.
- In San Francisco, bank robberies jumped from 20 in the first five months of 2007 to 32 for the same period in 2008.
- Bank robberies in the Houston metro have more than doubled since 2007.
- Jackson, Miss., reported more bank robberies in the first quarter of 2008 than in all of 2007.
- Milwaukee is reporting double the number of robberies and Atlanta is now considered the bank robbery capitol of the US.
The numbers are similar across the country. The only way to do more to protect the staff, customers and family members and finally get them to talk about PTSD is for banks to pull their heads out of the sand of insurance that protects only them and understand that this is a violent victimization and trauma to the individuals working to help their bottom line. Can someone please tell the big wigs at the top of the FDIC and banking industry ladder that the bank itself is not the only victim?
For A detailed account of a kidnapping for ranson bank robbery, the criminal justice system re-victimization and recovery in the aftermath of violent trauma, buy Held Hostage: The True Story of a Mother and Daughter's Kidnapping.