Northern Ireland news

ATM robberies still on the agenda as police call for vigilance

Scene of an ATM machine robbery at a petrol station on the outskirts of Dungiven in April.

Police investigating a spate of ATM robberies have asked the public to remain vigilant, despite a recent lull in the number of smash and grab robberies.

A number of people have been arrested and charged in connection with the theft of cash machines, with 14 robberies since the start of the year in Northern Ireland.

Detective Superintendent Rowan Moore said while police "have seen the positive result of the community and police working together to catch those we believe are responsible for the theft of ATMs".

He added:"However, our investigations continue and ATM crime remains a priority for the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

"We are not complacent and we continue to focus on doing everything we can to catch those responsible for previous incidents and prevent further thefts.

"I am grateful to the public for their input and support to date and would encourage communities to remain alert to suspicious activity".

Among the activity the public has been asked to watch out for is diggers being driven late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

"If your suspicions are aroused phone police immediately", said Mr Moore.

"These attacks cause untold loss and disruption to people and businesses, many of whom are rural and depend on their local ATM provision for access to cash.

"I would also appeal to anyone who owns or uses heavy plant machinery - please take every possible step to secure and immobilise your machinery. If criminals cannot steal diggers and other similar machinery, they cannot tear out ATMs", he added.

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