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Cops caution banks on ATM security

Published Nov 21, 2013, 12:55 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 7:27 pm IST
Picture for representational purpose only.
 Picture for representational purpose only.
Chennai: Following the attack on a woman customer who was withdrawing cash from an ATM kiosk in Bengaluru on Tuesday, the Chennai city police on Wednesday, once again, cautioned banks in the city about the need for security guards at all ATM kiosks.
“We are insisting that banks should have a guard at every ATM point for the safety of genuine customers and cash stored in the machine,” Chennai city police commissioner S. George said when this newspaper contacted him to elicit his views on the safety aspects of customers at ATM kiosks in the city. The police patrol team in the city was told to make rounds around ATMs more frequently, a senior official added.
It may be noted that the police had been asking banks in the city to deploy guards and surveillance cameras near ATM machines as the presence of watchmen and video cameras could act as a deterrent for criminals.
Though Chennai has not witnessed a crime similar to the one in Bengaluru, city ATMs had been witnessing vandalism and robbery attempts. A few years ago, thieves took away an ATM machine in Aynavaram. In another incident on OMR, in June 2010, a 19-year-old security guard was killed by a gang when they tried to steal cash from the ATM machine in Padur.
In January this year, a masked man tried unsuccessfully to break open an ATM on Erukamcherry high road. In September this year, three drunken youths, who vandalised two ATMs in Triplicane, were arrested by the police based on video footage captured by the surveillance camera.requesting them to take appropriate action.
What the banks should do, and not do:
Set up the ATMs at properly illuminated places; maintain ATMs with enough lighting. Forty per cent of ATM crimes happen between 7pm and midnight.
Employ security personnel 24x7; ensure able-bodied men are on duty at nighttime.
ATM doors should open only by insertion of cards; many are now left wide open.
Banks should install cameras and alarm systems inside the ATMs.
Banks should instruct the security guards at ATMs not to permit people wearing masks and helmets to enter ATMs.
What customers should do, and not do:
Look around before entering the ATM and if you see anyone suspicious, avoid going in.
Prefer the ATM on a main road, in a crowded area; not one in a bylane and secluded place.
Keep the ATM card ready in your hand instead of searching for it in the pocket/bag after entering the ATM.
Do not let anyone standing behind or close by to see you entering your PIN number.
Leave the ATM as soon as possible after completing the transaction and get to a secure place, such as inside your car or public area. 
Do not count the cash inside the ATM, do it in a safer place.
If you find someone, especially a woman, a kid or an elder, in distress inside an ATM because of a stranger, raise alarm and get the attention of others.
Location: Tamil Nadu


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