Monday, 14 March 2011

Call for increased security at remote site ATMs.........

In the early hours of 11th March 2011 an ATM was stolen from a shopping complex located in Antrim, Northern Ireland.  The criminals prised open the doors of the Parkhall Shopping complex and removed the machine just after 2:00 am.  The amount of money lost in the ATM has not been disclosed.

According to the Northern Ireland Independent Trade Association this is the first major robbery of this type in nearly two years.  Chief Executive Glyn Roberts stated "......I would call upon every retailer who has an ATM machine in their premises to urgently review their security in the light of this robbery."

You can read more on the story on UTV News.

Blog comment:  Following on from that comment, what could the options be?  Assuming that this ATM was a 'merchant fill' machine (i.e. the retailer directly replenishes the cash), the risk is with the retailer. 

  • One way to reduce this risk for machines located inside stores that are closed, is for the merchant to empty the machine of all cash before closing the store, and to leave the safe door open.  The machine can then be replenished just before the store reopens.  This of course assumes that there is an alternate cash safe in the store, perhaps located in a less obvious location, or in a location from which it would be difficult for criminals to rip it out, and perhaps of more solid construction.
  • If this is not an option, the anchorage of the machine could also be reviewed and possibly strengthened, and/or cassette based banknote degradation systems (with related signage) could be considered.  This of course adds cost to the retailer in what can be a tight business model.
  • CCTV coverage and alarms (ATM and premises) also need to be reviewed.
The above are general guideline comments only.  As a matter of best practice a documented site specific risk assessement should be carried out by a security professional for every ATM, regardless of location,........and installation possibly avoided at sites deemed to be too high risk!

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