COPENHAGEN: Denmark has recorded its first year without bank robberies, as the use of cold hard cash has dwindled in recent years, the country’s finance workers union said on Monday.

The increasingly cashless society has led banks to dial down their cash services, leaving little potential loot for robbers. “It’s nothing short of amazing. Because every time it happens, it’s an extreme strain on the employees involved,” Steen Lund Olsen, vice president of a union, said in a statement.

“It’s something you can’t even begin to understand the emotional impact of if you haven’t experienced it yourself,” he added.

The union said there had been 221 bank robberies in 2000, which has slowly decreased to less than 10 a year since 2017. Denmark’s central bank reported in March last year that the use of cash had nearly halved from 23 percent of payments in 2017 to 12 percent in 2021.

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the abandonment of cash, said the bank.

The finance workers’ union noted that while holdups have become scarce, “many bank employees who have been robbed continue to struggle with the consequences”. Some still suffer from symptoms such as “anxiety, sadness, irritability, restlessness and insomnia”.

Published in Dawn, january 4th, 2023

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