A group of economists were asked by the UK’s banking trade organization to compile a research paper to establish the financial viability of adding security measures to banks. In other words, they wanted to figure out if the money that bank robbers got away with was more or less than the amount it would cost to introduce high-tech security upgrades.
The group studied figures from a 3 year period and found that the average bank robbery netted a measly £20,330.50/$31,613, not really that great a sum when you weigh it up against the risk of going to prison or getting shot! More bad news for budding criminals, the average robbery involved 1.6 thieves per job, so that figure drops down to a pathetic £12,706.60 per thief – unless of course you are the kind of super-criminal that doesn’t pay your minions, lackeys or getaway car drivers!
The study also pointed out that the average UK wage for those in a full time job is approximately £26,000, so working from that, the haul from a bank robbery is only likely to provide a modest lifestyle for our budding thief for around 6 months. So forget they can forget about the yachts, round the world cruise or buying their own private jet plane then!
For the type of criminal who will repeat offend in order to pay for his sneakers, hot dogs and other essentials, it doesn’t look so great either! One third of robberies fail completely – so anyone who does it on a regular basis will probably end up behind bars before they have accumulated the substantial wealth that you need to be above the law!
The study also found that certain factors influenced the amount that bank robbers managed to escape with, like for example waving around a firearm or adding a gang member to the group increase the average haul by a couple of thousand!
This doesn’t just apply to the UK either, the FBI’s figures about bank robberies in the U.S also point to a pretty poor amount.
As stated on Arstechnica.com “As a profitable occupation, bank robbery leaves a lot to be desired.”
“Robbing banks: Crime does pay – but not very much,” a paper by academic economists commissioned by the Royal Statistical Society and American Statistical Association can be downloaded on Online Library.