Security guard describes five attacks by armed robbers
- 25 October 2010
- From the section England
"You just don't know what level of violence they're going to use."
Geoffrey Gilburt, 64, of Stockport, is a security guard who delivers cash to stores across the North West. In just eight years he has been attacked and threatened five times.
During one raid, the perpetrators threatened to chop him in half with an axe.
He is speaking out about his ordeal as armed police are being used to escort cash transit vehicles across north-west England as part of a crackdown on robberies.
Officers from Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria and North Wales are working with the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) on the campaign to reduce the amount of attacks.
The grandfather, who earns £10 an hour, is currently on long-term sick. During the most recent attack, in January, he was threatened by a gang of men wielding a sledgehammer, an axe and an angle grinder at a Co-op convenience store in Heswall, Wirral.
He injured his knee as his attackers dragged him along the floor and he now struggles to walk.
"I got to the shop and heard people shouting 'attack attack attack'.
"Three men came running over. One of them had an axe and another had an angle grinder. I was thinking 'what on earth are they going to do?'
"The man with the axe started shouting at me to open the cash box that was on the floor but I couldn't. It was locked. He just didn't believe me. Then he grabbed hold of me and dragged me out of the shop and I banged my right knee against something.
"He dragged me over to the van and threatened to hit me if my colleague who was locked in the van didn't hand over the money.
"The lad who was in the van wasn't supposed to let any money out but he had no choice as I was being threatened with the axe. He did eventually let one of the containers out which was full of money."
During previous attacks he has been threatened with a gun but he said the latest attack "was the worst of the lot".
The robbers made off with £40,000 but have since been caught and jailed, two were sentenced to 18 years and another was given six years.
He said: "I don't want to do it again. I've had enough of it now. The violence they used was over the top.
"I remember when I returned to work after the last robbery, I went into a shop when somebody was delivering bread banged on the door.
"My heart started racing but it was actually just somebody making a delivery. I couldn't go back again. You can't really imagine what it was like."