‘Epi­demic’ of at­tacks on UK cash ma­chines costs £150m

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

THE UK is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an “epi­demic” of crim­i­nal at­tacks on cash ma­chines, a re­port has warned.

The dam­age caused by cash ma­chines at­tacks over the last year may have ex­ceeded £150m, ac­cord­ing to cal­cu­la­tions by ATM oper­a­tor Cardtron­ics.

Ru­ral ar­eas are in­creas­ingly at risk, its re­port found, as peo­ple liv­ing in re­mote ar­eas are left strug­gling to ac­cess cash from else­where while dam­aged ma­chines are be­ing re­paired or re­placed.

While less than a third (31 per cent) of ATM at­tacks were car­ried out in ru­ral ar­eas in 2013, this num­ber has risen to more than two-fifths (42 per cent) in 2018.

Over 40 per cent of at­tacks in the first half of 2018 were car­ried out in ar­eas where there was a max­i­mum of one bank branch open for cus­tomers, the re­port said.

Cardtron­ics, which said the UK is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing “an epi­demic of crim­i­nal at­tacks on its ATMs”, warned that crim­i­nals are in­creas­ingly us­ing dan­ger­ous meth­ods, such as ex­plo­sions or ram-raids, to re­move cash from ma­chines.

The Vic­tim­less Crime? re­port said that it can take up to four-and-a-half months for the ATM to re­open fol­low­ing an at­tack, im­pact­ing on the lo­cal econ­omy and de­priv­ing nearby res­i­dents of their ac­cess to cash for a sig­nif­i­cant time pe­riod.

The re­port con­cludes that on top of the di­rect cost of the at­tacks, es­ti­mated to be £46.8m, crim­i­nals could have put as much as £110m of di­rect com­mu­nity spend at risk in the past 12 months.

Po­lice last month re­vealed that there had been 92 thefts or at­tempted thefts of cash ma­chines or their con­tents across York­shire and the Hum­ber in the year to Novem­ber 26.

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