POLICE will be stepping up the protection given to security vans over the Christmas and New Year period.

West Mercia Police has launched its annual ‘Follow That Van' campaign to highlight work being done by officers to protect security vehicles carrying cash across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Worcestershire.

In the last three years, there have been six crimes linked to cash in transit vehicles across the whole of West Mercia.

Detective Inspector Mark Colquhoun, from the force's HQ CID department, said: "Cash in transit robberies are rare in West Mercia and the force does all it can to keep it that way. The offence is still taken extremely seriously, which is why we have launched the campaign this month, a campaign we have run for several years.

"Officers in uncommitted patrol cars follow these vehicles to ensure safe deliveries, reassure drivers and act as a clear deterrent to any potential criminals. It is all about maximising police patrol and visibility and any intelligence we may gather in the process.

"These kinds of robberies are far from victimless crimes as drivers can be left extremely shaken by incident and, as in other parts of the country, injured by offenders."