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For the most part, the incidence of bank robbery is closely related to other crime trends, especially commercial robbery.3 In the United States, banks have comprised an increasing proportion of the nations commercial robberies: in 1989, 6 percent of commercial robberies were of banks; this proportion increased steadily to 9 percent in 2004.4 (See Figure 2.)The contribution of banks to the total number of commercial robberies can change over time.
Despite the federal role, the primary impact of bank robbery is inherently local, as citizens and political leaders look to local police for solutions.
Local police are often best positioned to advise banks about preventive strategies because of their established relationships with local bank employees.
Injuries occur in about 2 percent of bank robberies in the United State s and in 6 percent of robberies in Australia (Maguire and Pastore, 1997; Pastore and Maguire, 2005; Borzycki, 2003). This is because most bank robberies are reported very quickly, most occur during daylight hours, many have multiple witnesses, and some produce photographic images that can be used to canvass the surrounding area for suspects.
Consequently, many robbers are caught the same day. bank robberies, local police typically respond first.
The United States experienced a dramatic increase in bank robberies between 19, when the number of crimes quadrupled from 847 to 3,517.
Despite the enactment of the federal Bank Protection Act in 1968, robberies continued to rise through the early 1990s and now average around 8,800 per year (see Figure 1).Bank robberies are relatively uncommon: only about 2 of every 100 robberies are of a bank.1 Although violence is rare, employees and customers are at some risk of injury.If nothing else, being victimized can be terrifying.This guide is focused on individual retail bank branches at different locations while the term bank refers to the financial corporation that operates the branches.Most bank robberies are robberies of bank branches.Other countries have faced similar fluctuations in the number of bank robberies.The number of bank robberies in Figure 1 are those reported by local police to the FBIs Uniform Crime Report, not those recorded in BCS.In fact, the clearance rate for bank robbery is among the highest of all crimesnearly 60 percent. Although the FBI has jurisdiction over most bank robberies in the United States, offenses are investigated concurrently with local police; in fact, local agencies may handle the entire investigation.The FBI maintains the Bank Crime Statistics database (BCS), an important investigative tool that documents offender and offense characteristics across jurisdictions.In addition, bank robberies can invoke fear in the community at large, as most are well-covered by the media. Because of the potential for violence, police always respond quickly to a bank robbery in progress.And in fact, a distinctive bank robbery such as the fatal 1998 shoot-out between police and two bank robbers armed with assault weapons in Los Angeles can influence public images of crime for many years. As one police commander said, When a bank robbery goes down, all hell breaks loose in a police department.2The likelihood of catching a bank robber on or near the scene is higher than for other crimes.