PSNI ‘working closely’ with retailers following weekend ATM attacks
Police have said they are working with retailers as part of their focus on business crime, following two recent ATM attacks.
Detectives are appealing for information following two separate incidents over the weekend, including one in which a “substantial sum of money” was taken.
An ATM was stolen from premises on the Dungannon Road area of Portadown on Friday 3rd March, while there was a report of an attempted ATM theft on the Roguery Road area of Toome on Sunday 5th March.
Both incidents occurred on forecourts of service stations, with damage caused to the facilities.
‘SUBSTANTIAL’ AMOUNT STOLEN
Shortly before 8.15am on Friday 3rd March police received a report that two men entered the forecourt of a service station on the Dungannon Road, Portadown in the early hours of the morning.
It was reported that damage was caused to the ATM bunker door and ATM machine located and a substantial sum of money taken during the incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Thornton told Neighbourhood Retailer that the PSNI was working closely with retailers to help stop these incidents.
“The Police Service of Northern Ireland has a dedicated team of detectives who work across Northern Ireland, specifically focusing on the theft of ATMs,” he said.
“This team also works closely with the banking and retail sectors to help put a stop to this crime.
“Already this year we are investigating four reports of ATM thefts across Northern Ireland. The thefts occurred in the Portadown, Dungiven, Cabragh and Articlave areas.”
‘For the Police Service, preventing and tackling business crime are key issues in fulfilling the organisation’s goal to provide a personal, professional and protective service’
These incidents follow previous ones in 2022 in which an ATM was stolen in Richhill, while there were two attempted ATM thefts in both the north Belfast and Temple areas.
Detective Chief Inspector Thornton stressed these crimes were “not victimless”.
“When ATM machines are vandalised, it causes a lot of disruption to both retailers and also the wider community who depend on them for accessing cash in a convenient location.
“ATM theft and attempted theft is not a victimless crime and these attacks cause untold loss and disruption to people and businesses, many of whom depend on their local ATM provision for access to cash.”
He added that retailers and shop owners could take some action in a bid to deter criminals.
“Businesses can install cameras in order to monitor ATMs for suspicious activity and anyone who sees someone tampering with an ATM should not approach them but call police immediately.
“For the Police Service, preventing and tackling business crime are key issues in fulfilling the organisation’s goal to provide a personal, professional and protective service,” he added.
He said that enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident at Portadown and appealed to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area at that time to contact detectives on 101, quoting reference number 292 of 03/03/23.”
Similarly, he appealed for information in relation to the second incident last weekend, at Toome.
“At 4.30am on Sunday 5th March, police received a report that two men were seen trying to gain entrance to a door of an ATM in a forecourt on the Roguery Road, Toome.
“As a vehicle entered the forecourt, it was reported the two men made off empty-handed with damage caused to the ATM following the incident,” he said.
“Enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident/both incidents and police would appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area at that time to contact detectives on 101, quoting reference number 373 on 05/03/23.
“Alternatively, information can also be provided by calling the independent charity, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form, via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/,” he added.
For further information on crime prevention, call your local police on 101, or log on to www.psni.police.uk where you can access advice and information about preventing and detecting business crime.