Cambridgeshire Police asks public to 'adopt' local cash machines to defeat ram-raiders

  • What ram raids have happened in Cambridgeshire recently? Watch the full timeline from ITV News Anglia

Police are asking the public to "adopt" cash machines in a bid to prevent more destructive ram-raids.

Three ram-raids have taken place across Cambridgeshire since 13 October and police believe they are linked.

The raids have seen ATMs torn out of the wall with diggers and telehandlers, which were then left at the scene.

As ram-raids are expected to increase with darker nights over the coming months, Cambridgeshire Police said it was putting out more patrols and supporting an "ATM Watch" community initiative.

The scheme is designed to get local businesses and houses to form "all-seeing, all-hearing protective bubbles" around ATMs.

Det Ch Insp Chris O’Brien said: "We are committed to making it harder for ATM thieves to target our local shops and ATM machines and will be targeting areas we believe are at increased risk - but we can’t do it alone.

"We need the public’s help to report anything suspicious or anything they see that might not seem quite right, no matter how small or insignificant.

"One call could make all the difference and potentially stop somewhere being targeted."

The aftermath of a ram-raid in Bassingbourn in October. Credit: ITV Anglia

Members of the public are being asked to consider installing video doorbells or CCTV on their homes, report anyone paying close attention to ATMs and raise concerns about unusual vehicles that appear to have been left for days.

Alan Paul, chairman of the Peterborough Neighbourhood Watch Association, said: "ATM Watch is an additional preventative measure to all the things already in place to help prevent ram raids, including anti-ram raid pillars, alarms, police patrols, and CCTV.

"This winter, we are asking the public to 'adopt' their local ATM and keep an eye out for suspicious activity around it, to try prevent these destructive crimes in our towns and villages."

On 13 October, a telehandler was used to rip out an ATM from a corner shop in Bassingbourn.

Then two weeks later, a cash point was stolen from a Nationwide in a similar ram-raid in Whittlesey.

Several weeks later another ATM was torn from a corner shop in Soham, leading Cambridgeshire Police to believe the three ram-raids were linked.

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