How far can you trust the media ? Not very far when it comes to figures of millions of pounds, apparently.
Despite the headlines on the BBC News website, the Scotsman etc. the recent foiled armed robbery attempt at Heathrow airport, of allegedly £40 million in gold bullion and up to £40 million in currency is NOT either the largest attempted robbery in the UK or even the largest actual gold bullion robbery in the UK.
If anyone bothers to read past the headklines or to view the video clip of the policeman in charge of the operation Detective Superintendent Barry Phillips of the Metropolitan Police "Flying Squad", you will see that he says "We have foiled what would have been ONE of the biggest
robberies ever committed in the UK"
However, the sensationalist hype from the BBC (and other media) headline writers transforms this into "THE biggest armed robbery attempt in Britain".
The infamous Brinks Mat gold bullion robbery in November 1983 netted the criminals ?26 million pounds worth of gold bullion - 6800 bars - about 3 tons of gold. This would have been worth over £55 million at todays prices, c.f the Office of National Statistics regarding inflation in the UK since 1750 (.pdf)
The BBC also fails to remind its audience of the largest attempted armed robbery in the UK - the Millennium Dome Diamonds heist - Operation Magician, which attempted to steal over £200 million pounds worth of diamonds.(worth over £213 million at todays prices).