During his keynote speech at Finsec 07, the conference on financial security, Martin Billingsworth, of Barclays UK Retail Banking, said that the time had come to consider radical ways to prevent crime by following the lead of drug abuse campaigners.
"We need to reduce the motivation for habitual criminals such as Bank Robbers and fraudsters that target the small multi-billion pound organisations," he said. "We need to remove the link between their needs and the crime they commit. If registered armed robbers were prescribed great bundles of cash on the NHS it will lead to less desire to perform bank raids."
Attendees at the conference included not just the retail banking sector, but its interested consumer groups. Tony ‘The Spanner’, who has served a total of 24 years for armed robbery and represented the Essex firms said that the move did not go far enough.
"Well I know that my members would welcome the re-assurance that we can maintain our cash dependencies without the need to break the law. It will be a great comfort," he said. "However I think this needs to be applied to other forms of crime. Burglars should have the right to be prescribed DVD players and laptop computers and as for rapists well perhaps regular session with S&M sex workers should be provided on the NHS."
Barclays was supported by other members at the conference who felt that such an opportunity would not only reduce costs but also open up other business opportunities.
"Our insurance costs would go down if the threat of robbery was removed. Further all the paraphernalia we have to pay for such as safes; bandit screens, alarms, that can all go," said Sir Arthur Nowling, Chief Financial Officer of HSBC. "Of course if the NHS wants big bundles of cash we are quite happy to sell them to it."
Tony ‘The Spanner’ was concerned over the controls in place to prevent abuse of the system by illegal immigrants.
"Well, I read in the Daily Mail that everyone in Eastern Europe is a criminal and they are all coming over here," he said. "The government would need to make sure that they were not able to get the large bundles of cash and that they only went to genuine British, tax avoiding thugs."
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