Hands up, it's the Wild West

11th September 1998 at 01:00
"IF ORDERED to put their hands up - put them well up." Not the latest order for the kids but for the staff in West Dunbartonshire. "Avoid sudden or unexpected movements, or anything which the thief may construe as a signal, " it adds. "He may shoot."

No kidding. The council's guidelines on "Procedures during a Hold-up" continue: "The small notes should be put in first. Careful training in neatness should be forgotten. STUFF the money into the sack - this way, less will go in."

Staff are asked not to put extra in, to hand over coinage wherever possible because "it is bulky and may satisfy the amateur", and to hold back Pounds 5 and Pounds 10 notes unless instructed by the raiders.

On no account should staff reach for pockets or a handbag. No unreasonable risks should be taken either for, of course, West Dunbartonshire is a caring authority which urges that "the lives of the staff are more valuable than the assets of the organisation".

But, unless they are frightened witless, staff still have a job to do, making a mental note of the criminals' appearance. "Concentrate on this," the guidelines say. "Study them, unless you are ordered to turn away, face the wall or lie on the floor."

This is the authority by the "Bonnie" banks of Loch Lomond and the Clyde.

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