How a stream of ram raids on ATMs fuels the race to withdraw money: banks do little to stop scammers, because banknotes are a risk that they would rather miss
- Last year there were at least 1 100 ATMs throughout the UK aimed at thieves
- Raids can increase because not enough is being done to protect machines
- When a community loses its cash machines, customers have trouble getting hold of banknotes
Ramo accelerators attacking ATMs are a growing crime for vulnerable communities – and are accelerating the race to a cashless society.
Last year, at least 1,100 ATMs across Great Britain were attacked by thieves in a twirl wave that has more than doubled in the last four years.
Banks do little to thwart the criminals because they think that cash is a security risk that they would rather not be able to do without. Ax cash machines and the ram raiders are disappearing.
Destroyed: CCTV footage shows a digger set to load a cash machine into a pickup after the ram raided a store in Newport, Essex – and left wreckage across the street
But when a community loses its cash machine, customers struggle to get hold of banknotes – so they are forced to use cards and contactless devices for more payments and also to do more online banking.
Ron Delnevo is a director of the trade union ATM Industry Association and manages the Cash-is-Cool website. He says: & # 39; We are on our way to disaster if we allow a cashless society to become a reality.
In the future, attacks could increase because not enough is being done to protect machines – and banks would prefer people to pay with cards or contactless devices than with physical money.
& # 39; Stand-alone store machines are vulnerable, but people deserve the freedom of choice. Subsidies should be provided to make ATMs safer and to help if stores are victims of ram blows. & # 39;
Our manifesto to let banks listen
The Mail on Sunday has a & # 39; Keep Our Cash Manifesto & # 39; to force banks and financial authorities to tackle the crisis. Our most important requirements are:
- Every city should have at least one bank.
- Every city should have a free cash machine.
- Every city should have a post office.
- For smaller communities without a bank, post office or free cash machine, & # 39; cashback & # 39; offered free of charge in local shops and cafes.
- One supervisor must take the lead and ensure that everyone has access to free money.
The picturesque village of Newport in Essex is one of the victims of the crime scene. It seems to have everything. The shops in the busy main street have everything from groceries to medicines. But unbelievably, there is no money anywhere. Last September, a JCB excavator was stolen from a local farm and plowed into Newport Stores. The excavator scooped up the store's free-to-use cash machine and maneuvered it to the rear of a Toyota pickup – which was quietly driving away. It was the second time that a cash machine was pulled out of the store and stolen in ten years.
Store owner Alan Carr is still traumatized by the experience. He finds it worrying that the cash machine will never be replaced. He says: “We cannot take out insurance to cover the costs of installing another machine – it is devastating. Even without an ATM, the insurance for our store has now risen from £ 800 to £ 4000 a year. & # 39;
He points to a three-meter square hole left behind by the vandals – boarded up with chipboard. There are cracks in the windows above the store caused by the rough removal of the cash machine and part of the sign of the store has been torn away where the excavator has plowed into the building.
While most stolen ATMs are being replaced, the increase in crime has raised fears that ATMs in rural areas such as Newport will not survive.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that banks and the government do not appear to be interested in helping such communities – and it is the shopkeeper who must bear the costs of the crime.
Stand-alone machines can cost £ 10,000 to purchase and £ 300 a week for maintenance – including secure replenishment. But most retailers conclude a deal with providers.
This means that a provider can install the machine for free and can take a 22.5p discount that a bank has to pay every time there is a withdrawal.
Hole … in the bag: Shopper Daisy Musgrove has been left without cash. When a community loses its cash machine, customers struggle to get hold of banknotes
An important attraction for a store is that an ATM attracts more customers to visit and spend cash. But if the store is the victim of a ram stall, insurance premiums rise – and even more will cost if another cash machine is installed, meaning that many can no longer afford it.
Banks are happy to help you when the crime scene escalates – comfortable knowing that money attracts thieves.
The threat to ATMs is not helped by the loss of many post offices. In the Newport store there is a regrettable sign at the counter: & # 39; Post Office closed. Possible complaints 0345 611 2970. & # 39;
Alan adds: & # 39; To kick us when we're down, the post office in the store was closed last week. We pleaded with bosses to see the senses and keep the branch running because there are no banks or ATM's nearby, but they didn't want to know.
The post office wastes the cost of paying bonuses that the bosses enjoy at the top and it makes me sick. & # 39; Former post office chief, Paula Vennells, raised £ 6.2 million over six years of salary, bonuses, and other benefits before stopping in February.
It leaves a vulnerable network where 2,500 of the 11,500 remaining branches can close in the coming year – with the possibility of accessing cash.
Retired kindergarten teacher Sue El Shahar is struggling to cope with the loss of the cash machine and post office.
The 73-year-old says: & I am now taking a 20-minute bus ride to a supermarket in Saffron Walden for cash. Banknotes and coins are essential for me when budgeting for household bills. I don't want to use a card. & # 39;
University graduate Daisy Musgrove is appalled that she can no longer get any money. The 22-year-old says: & I am a fan of contactless payments with a telephone or card – but we must have a choice. When I go out, cash is always the best, because I know what I spend. & # 39;
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