Three-day deadline to deploy security at all ATMs
The State government has given gave a three-day deadline to all banks to provide security at all ATMs. This is following the attack on a woman in an ATM kiosk in Bangalore city on Tuesday.
Home Minister K.J. George on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting with senior police officers here and instructed all bank managements, both private and nationalised, to provide security at all ATMs located in the city in the next three days.
The Minister obtained information from the officials about location of ATMs of various banks in the city and the number of security personnel deployed.
Addressing presspersons after the meeting, the Minister said there are 2,500 ATMs in the city and 600 of them are unmanned.
It was the responsibility of banks to provide security at their ATMs. The banks should close down all ATMs if they are unable to deploy security personnel, Mr. George warned. He said a committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary S.K. Pattanaik, has been constituted to formulate guidelines on providing security at ATMs. The committee comprises officials of the Law Department, banks and the Home Department, Mr. George said.
He added that in future, banks have to obtain permission from the Home Department for setting up ATMs. He advised banks not to set up ATMs in remote areas and bank managements to monitor functioning of CCTVs through control rooms.
He said a special squad would be formed to assess the locations of unmanned ATMs in the city.
Banks cannot ignore ATM security, police say
Bangalore, Nov 20, 2013, DHNS: The City police on Wednesday submitted a detailed list of security measures to be taken by banks for foolproof ATM operations, right from transfer of money to preventing tampering of the machines.
Police want an armed security guard deployed round-the-clock at every ATM centre. Besides, security agencies should transfer the money only in convoys. Police have also proposed strict guidelines such as background verification of, and weapons training for, guards deployed by security agencies.
Last year too, police had put in place security norms for transfer of money to ATM centres by private security agencies after an armed gang looted Rs 1.87 crore from a Corporation Bank ATM centre in R T Nagar on May 14. Now, after Tuesday’s brutal attack on a woman inside an ATM kiosk of the same bank, police are not willing to take any more chances and want banks to fall in line.
Most security loopholes are found in the kiosks. To begin with, the rolling shutter should be locked to the doorframe so that it cannot be pulled down by anyone. A senior police officer said that had the simple measure been in place, the latest incident could have been averted.
Police also want compulsory installation of CCTV cameras outside the ATM centres, apart from the in-built camera in the machine. A burglar alarm should be installed in the kiosk too. All ATMs should be fixed to the ground, so that robbers cannot tow them away, as done in some recent incidents. Police say banks should also instal a software to prevent skimming of cards. In October of this year, two men killed a security guard inside an ATM centre and tried to break open the machine, but were caught red-handed by patrolling policemen.
A senior officer conceded that the recent spate in ATM-related crimes was a systemic flaw police had failed to fix as much of the problem was “beyond their jurisdiction”. In today’s age of increasing economic disparity in the society and the craze for easy money, an unguarded ATM kiosk was “tempting enough” and a high-security risk, especially after dusk, the officer pointed out.
But efforts by police to convince banks to deploy armed security guards at these kiosks round-the-clock have not yielded the desired results. Banks do not fall under the police jurisdiction; the most police can do is to issue them advisories, many of which have fallen on deaf ears so far. The City police even corresponded with the Reserve Bank of India but to no avail.
The officer said banks were “not concerned” about the security of the money as everything in the ATM operation — the kiosk, machine and money — would be insured and banks would not suffer any loss in any eventuality. He suggested that insurance companies look into the issue and make it a pre-condition for claims.
Auradkar said it was impossible for the understaffed police force to provide security at the ATM centres. Another officer insisted that banks alone are responsible for security of their customers at ATM centres, which are nothing but extension of bank premises.
Beyond our purview: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India has said providing security at ATM kiosks was beyond its purview. “At ATMs, providing physical security is not the brief of the bank. The Indian Banks’ Association will have to come out with measures to improve security at the ATM kiosks,” an RBI spokesperson said, reports DHNS report from Mumbai.