Security guards' unions last night called on banks to do more to protect their members after a guard was shot during a robbery in Birmingham.
A member of the public, believed to be an ex-policeman, was also shot during the raid on a Securicor vehicle delivering cash to the Lloyds TSB bank on Walsall Road, Great Barr.
Members of the GMB union nearly went on strike last year over the issue of security guard safety but the introduction of armed police escorts dramatically cut the number of attacks.
However, the union believes armed robberies of guards are increasing again since the escorts ceased. Senior GMB organiser Martin Hird said: "The banks and financial institutions have to stop ignoring us when we try to combat this issue.
"The drop-off and pick-up areas must be secure. Too many are out in the open. We believe banks and supermarkets could be doing a lot more to protect our members."
He added: "We call on Government, police, employers, retailers and banks to accept their responsibilities. Our members have a direct role in the economic vibrancy of the country. What would happen if ATMs across the city were not re-filled? Things would grind to a halt."
Detectives are hunting a gang of three or four robbers in connection with yesterday's attack, which happened at about 9.30am.
Security guard Chris Jesson, a 48-year-old father-of-two from West Bromwich, was dragged from the bank and shot in the foot in the raid.
A 60-year-old man, who ran to help when he saw the guard being held at gunpoint against his van, was also blasted in the thigh.
The driver of the Securicor van, who did not want to be named, said the raid was the fourth he had been involved in in four years.
Det Sgt Graham Sproson, from Thornhill Road police station, said the bank was packed with 30 early morning customers when the skimaskwearing robbers struck. They escaped with boxes of cash, one of which was dropped on the pavement. Police - on the scene in minutes - cordoned off the area and kept customers inside to collect statements.
Det Sgt Sproson said: "The man who got involved was very brave but we ask the public to consider their own safety in that situation."
The robbers escaped in a car driven the wrong way down Old Walsall Road.