ATM attacks could be a thing of the past with new technology

ATM attacks could be a thing of the past with new technology

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THE Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit is working with cash point provider Cardtronics to stop attacks against ATM machines.

Crime fighting charity Crimestoppers are also giving their support to the campaign and have provided banners and leaflets to help people know how and where to report crime.

Cardtronics are using anti-attack technology on their ATMs to deter would-be criminals attacking the machines.

Machines will be branded with ‘Secure ATM’ livery.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: "People can come to rely on ATMs.

"But, in the last financial year, we have had a number of thefts (eight in West Yorkshire) and attempted thefts (17 in West Yorkshire) of cash points.

"It can take up to seven months to replace a damaged or stolen machine which can impact directly on a community.

"As well as the inconvenience a stolen or damaged cash machine can cause, criminals are placing themselves and others in great danger by their actions.

"Criminals are resorting to increasingly dangerous methods in their pursuit of a machine. Tactics include pumping flammable gas into a machine or dragging it away.

"I am amazed no-one has been seriously injured or even killed.

"If you attack an ATM you risk a prison sentence."

He added: "We are working with Cardtronics to spread the message about the risks criminals run in attempting to steal ATMs and how people can report their concerns and any suspicious activity.

"We need people to report any suspicious activity they see to us.

"Even if it turns out to be incorrect information or it doesn’t lead anywhere it can help us to build up a more complete intelligence picture – just one call could make all the difference."

West Yorkshire Police has an online portal where shopkeepers can report any suspicious activity directly.

Marc Terry, International Managing Director at Cardtronics said: “ATM attacks are a criminal waste of police time and are absolutely devastating to the local shops and communities where they take place.

"Not only are they often highly dangerous, they are also completely mindless as only a small handful of attacks actually result in the criminals accessing the cash.

"Despite this, between 2014 and 2018 the number of ATM attacks in the UK have doubled, which is why Cardtronics has invested heavily in the roll-out of our Secure ATM initiative.

"Secure ATMs possess a range of the latest anti-attack technologies and forensic capabilities, including a traceable dye that police can use to identify a criminal for up to five years after an attack.

"We are also sharing intelligence and collaborating with the local police to bring these criminals to justice.

"Anyone considering an attack on one of our machines should think again.

"You will be caught, prosecuted, sent to prison for a long time and we will recover the funds from you by seizing your possessions if necessary. ATM crime does not pay – raid it, regret it."