Thieves are increasingly trying to smash or blast their way into UK cash machines – with the number of attacks on ATMs nearly doubling in four years.
Attempts to steal cash have risen from 400 attacks in 2014 to 723 last year, according to a report by ATM operator Cardtronics.
It said one in five incidents in Europe occurred in the UK.
Thieves are generally unsuccessful, with 41% of cases resulting in cash being stolen.
“For the first time, we have proof that the wider damage caused by these attacks is far greater than the direct impact to cash machines or the building they are in. ATM attacks are not victimless crimes,” said Tim Halford, managing director of Cardtronics UK and Ireland.
The report suggested that nearly half of all attacks could be considered as dangerous, in that heavy force was used. This could include ram-raids and gas explosions to blast out the ATM.
These “dangerous” attempted thefts have risen from an estimated 129 in 2014 to 342 in 2017.
The report said that rural communities, where there are already issues over access to cash, were being targeted. One in four attacks occurred in communities which had only one or no bank branch in the vicinity, it said.
Source: BBC News