Not enough security at ATMs, say Bengaluru police

Representative image. (DH Photo)

Bengaluru police say there has been an increase in cases of ATM tampering around the city. "There has been a rise in the number of cases of theft from and tampering of ATMs over the last few months," a senior police official told The Hindu. "Thieves are getting bolder because a large number of kiosks across the city do not have security guards even though it is mandatory,” 

“Security arrangements have been slowly phased out. A majority of ATMs are operating without security personnel and safety measures,” another police official said.

In 2013, the then Commissioner of Police had directed the banks to provide 24x7 security at ATMs after a bank manager was attacked in N. R. Square, the newspaper report said. Later, due to non-compliance by banks, the police chief issued an order for the closure of 1,100 ATM kiosks.

In the Hoysala area, police personnel have been instructed to monitor ATMs. "It is mandatory for us to visit them a few times during patrol duty. But it is not enough as we are understaffed. Banks should have security personnel all through the day and night,” a police constable said.

Another police officer said that due to strict enforcement by the then city police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar, banks had deployed security personnel. But they seem to have since withdrawn the personnel from ATMs. 

A senior officer at a private bank, talking to The Hindu, said, "The rise in thefts or even skimming scams are not an adequate incentive as we are covered for such losses. Managing ATMs with round-the-clock security personnel is not financially feasible.” 

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said, "Security at ATM kiosks is a must. The patrolling police personnel are keeping a check on them during rounds. However, this is not enough. Banks have to ensure that there are guards 24x7. I will be issuing the necessary directions to those concerned in this matter.”

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