Reports by trusted media sources in Jamaica, tell the story of a Beryllium cash courier being robbed of cash, at a financial institution in Mandeville (central business district in Manchester Parish). This reportedly occured on August 25, 2023 some time after 5pm EST.
While none of the security members of the beryllium courier were injured (reportedly), it was reported by The Jamaica Observer that 5 civilians are left hospitalized.
So, with 5 civilians shot as a result of gunfire exchange between the armed robbers & beryllium (cash couriers), here are my 2 questions:
1. Who is liable (compensation) to the injured civilians for medical fees, rehabilitation, loss time at work, as well as pain & suffering–The Financial Institution, Beryllium, The State, or The Injured Persons Themselves?
2. Using this case as the learning/teaching point what can you do as a member of the civilian population, to minimize harm to self and/or loved ones?
The Reality of The Situation
This is at least the 4th widely circulated (in Jamaican media at least), case of robbery attempt on Beryllium Couriers, since the start of 2023. On at least 2 of the previous occasions, Beryllium courier employees have been left injured.
See video: Beryllium Security Guards Robbed & Killed
During the peak of these prior incidents, there have been assertions made by security stakeholders (public & private throughout the major trusted media outlets), of the work being done to minimize harm to employees of cash couriers, and the public who interact with the financial institutions (ABMs & Physical Banks). On this basis, considering that:
- In this heist, no employee of Beryllium, actively involved in the courier of cash was injured (reportedly).
- 5 civilians were hospitalized-2 seriously (reportedly).
- The armed robbers got away with cash (albeit from the location of the heist itself–reportedly).
On the part of Beryllium & to a lesser extent, the state, is it fair to consider the outcome of this engagement, a successful defense?
Or, is it more fitting to say that this was a letdown on their part (Beryllium & State) towards ensuring public safety; in the execution of Berrylium cash courier duties?
Well, in my opinion, when you consider the complexity of the reality, whereby, the exchange of gunfire (between Beryllium employees & the armed robbers)-took place on both Public & Private lands; an exchange that resulted in the pile up of traffic, among others; this comes down to how you frame your argument, and your justification/support that can be provided.
In all fairness, in my opinion, very little could’ve been done on the part of the Beryllium, to:
*Engage the armed robbers towards ensuring their personal safety, or coming out of this battle unharmed.
*Protect all civilians within range of the combat zone, while protecting themselves, each other, as well as the cash.
I’ll go even further to say, that if you consider nature of the combat zone (peak traffic hours, pay day, known traffic congestion & high foot traffic point); the number of rounds fired (I wouldn’t be surprized if its 50-100); the caliber/grain of weapons fired; and the primary target of the robbers (cash); maybe, 5 persons coming out injured could be considered as a success.
Please note that this isn’t me saying that for the 5 people hospitalized, that there end result (in the aftermath of this gunfire exchange) is their fault, or insignificant. Rather, this is me shedding context to the actual outcome, and what could’ve been the potential outcome.
At least 50-100 people at least (when you consider unconfirmed spent shell casing) could’ve been injured or worst, instead of the 5 who actually were. Collateral damage in combat zones, are taken into consideration at strategic levels, with the aim of keeping their numbers to the bares minimum at least. This is not so easy the case for non-defined combat zones.
What Can We As Civilians Do To Mitigate Harm To Our Person & Loved Ones, When Conducting Business At Financial Institutions?
- Have Life Insurance (with disability coverage) & Health Insurance
- Travel with a tactical first aid kit (tourniquet, chest seal), etc.
- Make conducting cashless transactions a practice.
- Avoid visiting the bank to conduct business, during high traffic hours-such as after work, or between 4pm & 6pm.
- If you see a long que to enter the ABM, bank or similar, don’t join the que.
- If you are in the que, and see the cash courier arrive, leave.
- Identify cover, concealment & exit points of the bank/abm location.
- Always think worst-case scenario, and plan a tactical response primarily for escape when you venture to banks, or other cash-heavy locations.
About The Author
Oshane Bryant: BSc Geology, Geography Minor; ACE CPT since 2012; Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Accelerator Graduate-2018 cohort; Licensed KUKIBO Martial Arts & Self Defense, Senior Instructor; OB Fitness Founder & Managing Director.