Northern Ireland

PSNI 'not complacent' on cash machine thefts

Forensics at the scene after a cash machine theft on the Tully Road near Crumlin Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Forensics at the scene after a cash machine theft on the Tully Road near Crumlin in County Antrim

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has said it will not "become complacent" about cash machine thefts.

It said that in "recent months" it had carried out 41 searches across Northern Ireland.

The PSNI said it had recovered more than £51,000 and made 15 arrests.

Five men have been charged in relation to cash machine thefts in County Tyrone and County Antrim.

The PSNI said two men had also been charged for other offences including theft, driving offences and possession of criminal property.

Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Evans, who is head of the PSNI's Criminal Investigation Branch, said it was doing "everything" it could to prevent further thefts of cash machines.

"Local policing teams continue to patrol areas at night which could be vulnerable to an attack and detectives remain dedicated to investigating the thefts that have taken place," he added.

"I would again appeal to the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious or unusual activity, such as people or vehicles loitering in areas close to ATMs.

"This remains a key priority for us."

Image caption Cash machines have been recovered in some of the incidents

Mr Evans said the idea that cash machine thefts "are a victimless crime is simply wrong".

He said they caused "untold loss and disruption to people, businesses and whole communities".

From the start of 2019 to the end of April there had been 14 cash machine thefts in Northern Ireland.

In February, the PSNI announced the creation of a new team of detectives to investigate cash machine thefts, following an upsurge in the number of attacks.

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