Police in Northern Ireland have been warned that poor security on building sites is fuelling an ATM ram-raid spree.

Trade association Retail NI met with the Police Service of Northern Ireland last week, days before the 11th attack in the country this year, with at least nine having used construction vehicles. 

Over Easter, independents in England were targeted, including Kuldip Sandhu’s Nisa Extra
in Derbyshire. “They drove a stolen car into the building, but the ATM was empty,” said Sandhu. 

A Co-op in Lincolnshire was also targeted using a telehandler vehicle. 

Investigations by RN uncovered most plant and agricultural vehicles made before 2008 have no safety features, such as unique ignition keys, with one in every 100 convenience stores with an ATM affected by ATM crime in 2017. 

NFU Mutual Insurance Society agricultural vehicle specialist, Clive Harris, said this had caused an “epidemic” of thefts

Retail NI chief exec Glyn Roberts said: “We want action to immobilise diggers, security of construction sites must be made a priority.”

After meeting Roberts, PSNI detective chief inspector Henderson claimed funds accumulated from the ATM ram raids may be financing organised crime or terrorism in the country.

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