Those bank pop up walls...(security)

I was watching the World’s Most Daring Robberies. On it I saw these walls that pop up out of no where. Does anyone know the nomenclature of these “pop up walls”? I searched google and could not find any thing. I searched bank security walls, new bank security technology, bank security pop up walls. And some other similar things.

Thank you.

I am also curious as to what they are called. It is funny that you should mention these devices. Just yesterday i was flipping through the channels on the tv and came across a Russell Crowe movie which shows one of these pop up walls. The name of the movie is “Heaven’s Burning” I know that doesnt really help but that is all i know.


I saw the same TLC show, “World’s Most Daring Robberies”.

I looked at ADT’s and Brinks’ sites. Nada.

I’m striking out with google. Searches for ‘security’ ‘walls’ ‘partitions’ and even ‘robbery’ ‘thwart’ and ‘theft’ mostly bring up links computer firewall products. And I’ve configured similar software where you can basically tell it, “Shutdown (or even power-off) your internet connection after X number of attacks.”

From what I know of computer network security, my edjumicated guess is security is primarily a deterrent. The ADT sign on your lawn might make a potential burglar look to your neighbors. Same kinda thing with bullet-proof glass.

Really-neat© security systems get you on TLC. I’d also like to know the nomenclature.

In Australia, they are referred to as BRB’s or Bullet Resistant Barriers.

If you google this term you should find what you’re looking for.

Googling for “Bullet Resistant Barriers” just brought up tons of sites for regular old bullet-proof windows and walls; not the security system in which the wall pops up. I also remember them being used in the movie “Snatch,” when the guys tried to rob the off-track betting place.

I peeped the same thing peepthis… Not much information on this subject. Perhaps this is to make the system more effective. I did notice the guy from Australia gave the name. Coincidentally the only site I found that even mentions the BRBs was in Australia. Possibly they are more popular there?
I would also like to mention when I saw the wall go up it scared the google out of me. What an effective tool.

What’s the plan of action for the bank/store/whatever when the armed robber decides he’s going to start shooting other customers if/when the wall goes up?

The robbery never escalates that far. As soon as the teller/clerk feels threatened they push the button and the opaque wall shoots up.
Furthermore, the wall is not there to protect the customer. It is there to protect the goods.

Same here, I saw these youtube videos about bank robbery footage and all these metal walls shot up from the desk and secured the personal. If anyone knows, tell me!!!

Well, Australia’s really liked bullet resistant coverings, ever since Ned Kelly.

You’re right about the theoretical possibility of shooting customers and the bank being essentially blackmailed into opening up.

I say theoretical because armed robberies are very dynamic events. From the robbers’ perspective the goal is to get in and out in as few seconds as possible. They know that the police have been summoned. If they are caught there when the police arrive, it won’t end well. Commonly, they bolt for this very reason at any impediment occurring, because delay cripples the plan. (This is not to encourage staff or customers to be heroes, because resistance can turn out very badly, but it commonly results in aborting the robbery.)

This need to be quick is why robbers sometimes shout very loudly, discharge weapons, etc - to try to completely dominate the room by stamping their authority quickly. (Robbers sometimes adopt other strategies, of course).

For these reasons, robbers tend not to just shoot randomly at customers in frustration. Of course there are exceptions, but if the bank staff are sealed in behind the barrier devices, then all the robbers can do is get involved in protracted hostage negotiation to try to get the bank to open up, by which time the police will have arrived.

All of this is part of the reason why bank robberies are relatively uncommon. “Hard” targets like banks are now relatively rarely robbed - your average modern day Ned Kelly goes for late night service stations, 7-11 stores and so on. Even they are becoming increasingly hardened, and they have less money on hand, but modern banking means banks have relatively little actual cash lying around that is not behind a time-delay lock either.

Generically, those panels are called “bandit barriers” but that applies to non-moving bullet-resistant acrylic plastic or glass as well as the pop-up designs.

If you google the term “bandit barrier” you can find people that install the stationary ones, but I’ve not had any luck finding a producer for the pop-up kind - the term “pop-up” appears in a whole lot of websites, mostly in reference to pop-up ad blockers.

What do you mean by relatively uncommon and rare?

In 2009 there were about 5,500 robberies in the US, according to USA Today, out of around 8,000 total FDIC-insured banks. And 2009 has been the slowest year in the decade for bank robberies.

Maybe this is what you mean by banks robberies being uncommon, and even that article is about how robberies are down from previous years (in the decade), but it still seems like a lot to me. More than what I got the feeling you believed were occurring, anyway.

I agree with everything else you posted, but I was surprised how often banks are still robbed. Ever since I was a kid I thought that they were basically a relic of the past.

There’s a heck of a lot more than 8000 bank branches in the US.

What we really need is zombie-resistant walls!

I wouldn’t be worried about the robbers shooting hostages so much as I would be about the walls themselves injuring customers. What happens if someone is standing right over one of the walls when it pops up?

Anyone standing on top of a pop-up wall would be crook. These things pop out of the middle of the teller line, rather than out of the floor.

Back when I was working in a retail branch (in Australia), they were called ‘Rising Screens’. A google on ‘bank security rising screens’ will get you a lot of hits, seems they are also called ‘fast rising screens’

On the tellers counters there were/are prominent signs warning customers not to lean over the counter. If you were actually straddling one, it meant you were standing up on top of the tellers counter, so presumably you were trying to rob the place. We had to test these things on a weekly basis, plus I saw them accidently activated once, and believe me seeing them spring up only a foot in front of your face, I would not want to get struck by one, let alone be straddling one. With the force exerted by the screens I firmly believe someone straddling one would be bodily picked up and sandwiched between the screen and the ceiling, and probably have a significant amount of damage inflicted to their body.

Instructions to staff, if the screens were activated, were to not communicate with the bandits in any way. Hollywood to the contrary, your average bank robber does not want to hang aorund in a hostage situation - it’s quick in, quick out.

For ours in any case, the screens had large printed messages on them, printed on the side facing out towards the bandit, that stated an alarm had been activated and police alerted.

The design of the branches I was in, had the rising screens for the tellers area, but would invariably leave several branch staff out and vulnerable in the ‘public space’ of the branch. However excepted wisdom was an armed robber stymied by the screens would want to simply leave the branch ASAP, and not hang around to take out their frustration on staff and/or customers. Particularly as the tellers area was the only area of the branch that held any cash.

As to decreasing bank robberies, I can’t comment on the US situation, but In Australia the # of bank robberies has definitely been decreasing since the 80’s, as more and more security measures were introduced into branches. A difference from the States is that >80% of bank branches in Australia belong to 4 nationwide ‘majors’ and maybe 2-3 second tier banks. All of these banks, even the second tier ones, are big enough to afford the capital expenditure on their branches to upgrade security features. Making them ‘hard’ targets in comparison to service stations, 7-11’s etc.

[OT Grandpa story] Of course, when I first joined a bank in ~1993, I missed by a few years the days when a pistol was kept in the branch, and all senior branch staff had to spend time on a shooting range to qualify with the pistol.

This mightn’t sound overly strange to a US reader, but for an Australian, the idea of a mandatory firearm in the workplace is pretty out there. [end story :stuck_out_tongue: ]

As gotpassword said they are housed in the tellers counter, so you’d have to be standing up on top of the counter.

Also, one of the reason why they rise rather than drop, if you were a customer leaning over the counter a bit too far and they activated, they would hit you and fling you backwards. It would probably hurt like all hell, but at least you wouldn’t be squished by a dropping screen :smiley:

I’m not sure if this is actually true, but we were also told one of the other reasons for them rising, is if a bandit had a gun on you, the rising screen would strike his hand/arm, throwing the gun hand up, so even if he did pull the trigger the round would go over the tellers head. Because I can definitely confirm they are damn fast. Even when I was the one pushing the alarm button to test them, they still surprise you.

Ah, OK, I obviously had the wrong mental image for these things. That makes more sense.