Vigil tightened at ATMs

Police initiatives after attack on woman at Bengaluru.

Kochi: Open and available round- the- clock, bank ATMs offer a real convenience, especially to those pressed for time. But they are increasingly being targeted by thieves, who even attack ATM users if need be, emboldened by the lack of security around them.

Going by the District Crime Records Bureau, the city saw 18 ATM related crime between 2010 and 2012 . And although it has registered none since then, the city police is unwilling to take chances following the recent robbery at an ATM in Bangalore in which an armed thief attacked a woman drawing money from it, and has now instructed all banks to place security guards outside them.

“The Bangalore incident highlights the need for these centres to have security guards and we have issued a direction on this to all banks in the city,’’ said Kochi city police commissioner KG James, revealing that shadow police were already keeping tabs on unguarded ATM hubs in the city.

The night patrolling police teams have also been told to keep vigil in areas around them as a precaution. But banks themselves seem to be treating the matter lightly.

Claiming that it was not financially viable to deploy security guards at every ATM , Abraham Tharian, Executive Director, South Indian Bank, said the idea did not make sense either as criminals that targeted them often operated in gangs. He maintained that only maximum use of technology could prevent robberies like the one in Bangalore.

( Source : dc )
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