A TRADE organisation has warned that retailers could be forced to withdraw rural ATM services if the spate of thefts continues.
Over the weekend, two ATM machines in Fermanagh’s neighbouring counties were targeted by thieves using diggers in the latest thefts of rural cash machines.
The ATM at Cabragh Fillling Station near Ballygawley was ripped out at around 4.15am on Sunday morning, while around 4am on Saturday morning, a digger was used to steal a cash machine from the wall of the Bank of Ireland on Main Street in Kingscourt, Co Cavan.
Since December, three cash machines in Tyrone were targeted causing the PSNI to announce a dedicated team to tackle ATM thefts has been set up.
Condemning the attacks, Retail NI CEO Glyn Roberts warned that retailers may be forced to rethink providing ATM services, given the frequency of the attacks.
“With five ATM robberies in the past few months, these attacks are now a major problem for local retailers,” he told media.
“The PSNI need to redouble their efforts to put the criminal gangs behind these attacks in front of the courts. With so many bank branch closures in rural towns and villages in recent years, our members’ ATMs provide an invaluable service to their local communities. There is a real danger our members could start to remove these ATMs if these attacks continue, leaving many rural areas without the ability to access cash.”
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Posted: 3:54 pm March 15, 2019