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Banknote Watch Call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

Company details

Banknote Watch Trust

Company No. 4149042 (A Company limited by guarantee)

Registered Office: Banknote Watch Trust, Spinnaker House, Saltash Parkway, Saltash. PL12 6YH.

Dark image showing criminal and blue spray from cash degradation system

What are Cash Degradation Systems

Cash degradation systems use either a smoke, dye or a glue agent to stain the cash being protected.

  • The smoke systems emit a bright red smoke and stain the cash with the same colour. The stained notes may give off a smell like a spent firework initially and will stain fingers when touched; both effects will fade with time.
  • The dye systems stain the cash with a bluish-purple or green colour. The stained notes may give off a slight smell of paint initially and will stain fingers when touched; the dye dries in approximately twelve hours.
  • The stain, whether from a smoke or dye system, cannot be removed from the cash and if the smoke or dye comes into contact with skin, clothing or other material it is extremely difficult to remove
  • The glue systems


Fast Facts

Cash degradation systems are broadly divided into two groups:

  • Cash in transit/ATM protection
  • Cash protection in financial institutions/retail outlets

There are in excess of 38,900 cash degradation systems in use within the UK. Approximately 15,400 systems are used for cash in transit/ATM protection and 23,500 for cash protection in financial institutions and retail outlets.

These systems protect multi-£millions in the UK on a daily basis

For more detailed intelligence and information on how to identify and report stolen banknotes by accessing the Banknote Watch’s Police-only area of our website

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