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