The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has welcomed a recently published report on the damage realised by attacks on cash machines and is calling for on the judiciary to hand down harsher sentences as a deterrent. According to ATM operator Cardtronics, rural areas are especially at risk. Attacks can leave those living in remote areas struggling to access cash from elsewhere while machines are being repaired or replaced.
The report, entitled ‘Victimless Crime: The True Impact of ATM Crime on UK Communities’, outlines that while less than a third (31%) of ATM attacks were carried out in rural areas in 2013, this number has risen to more than two-fifths (42%) in 2018. Over 40% of attacks in the first half of this year were carried out in areas where there was a maximum of one bank branch open for customers.
Cardtronics said the frequency of ATM attacks generally has surged from 400 in 2014 to 722 in 2017. The report also predicts that the number of attacks could more than triple between 2016 and 2025.
Sarah Staff, head of SaferCash on behalf of the BSIA, said: “Our members have seen a real spike in the level of ATM crime in the past few years, with a 60% increase in these types of offences nationwide in the last three months alone. They are also increasingly being carried out by organised crime gangs targeting local rural communities. The impact of these crimes is far reaching, not only due to the actual theft and the loss of revenue to businesses, but also in terms of the extensive damage caused to buildings and the real impact such crime has on members of the community.”
Staff continued: “UK law enforcement and the private security industry are working hard to prevent these crimes and apprehend those involved. Through SaferCash, the BSIA is now calling on the judiciary to hand down harsher sentences as a deterrent to those individuals intent of committing these offences. The length of the sentences should truly reflect the seriousness of these crimes and the impact that they have on each local community. We’re also working with the private security industry, including ATM manufacturers, suppliers and installers, to further strengthen the collaborative work conducted with local police forces.”
In conclusion, Staff observed: “The BSIA also appeals to the public to assist where and when they can by reporting any suspicious incidents or information to the plice or anonymously to Crimestoppers. The public can often be the eyes and ears of their local areas. They can help towards tackling this crime trend which is negatively impacting their communities with a loss of local conveniences and their rightful access to cash.”