Belfast Telegraph

Retailers reassured by police chiefs over ATM robbery threat

The scene in Dungiven after a cash machine was ripped from a wall and stolen
The scene in Dungiven after a cash machine was ripped from a wall and stolen

By David Young

Retailers met PSNI chiefs yesterday over the spate of ATM robberies that have brought fear to rural traders across Northern Ireland.

Nine stores have been targeted in the wave of attacks that have left businesses in ruins.

Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts led a delegation that met Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray and Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Evans, who leads the PSNI task force investigating the raids on ATMs.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Roberts said his members had been reassured by what they had heard.

"This was a productive meeting with ACC Gray and her senior officers." he said.

"We greatly appreciate the dedication of her officers in their efforts to arrest the criminal gangs behind these robberies.

"I feel reassured that the PSNI is stepping up their investigations and the number of patrols.

"Our members are being ruthlessly targeted by these criminal gangs and feel under a state of siege.

"As we approach the weekend Retail NI members are asking themselves will they be next.

"Retail NI is urging the general public to report anything suspicious around building sites or retailers with ATMs.

"If they see a digger moving in their town or village in the middle of the night, ring 999."

"No small business owner should ever have to face such a threat.

"We are urging the community as a whole to be vigilant and to stand with our members in these challenging times."

Earlier, the PSNI's Detective Chief Inspector David Henderson had called on retailers across Northern Ireland to remain vigilant in the face of the ATM raid threat, saying that the thefts were having a serious impact on rural communities.

"We need communities to help be our eyes and ears," the senior officer said.

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