Artist creates safe zones for London ATMs

Artist creates safe zones for London ATMs

In a novel bid to combat snatch thieves and shoulder surfers, pictures have been painted onto the floors leading up to cash machines in West London, creating 'safe zones'.

The pop-art images of swimming pools, by artist Steve Russell, have focus points for customers to stand on whilst they use the ATMs, providing a "defensible space" around them.

This will not only be clearly visible to other people queuing from behind, but also to passers by, creating a deterrent for would-be thieves, says the Metropolitan police's Hammersmith Broadway safer neighbourhoods team, which put together the project.

The system is being piloted at two sites in the area; Natwest ATMs on Lyric Square and RBS machines within the shopping centre.

Detective constable Paul Trueman, says: "Today's launch is about using a creative and fun approach to combat the serious issue of theft around Hammersmith's busy ATMs. These thefts remain a priority for us and we are keen try new ideas which will run alongside our increased patrols in the area."

Steve Russell, the artist, adds: "My paintings were created as a gentle and enjoyable reminder to ATM users to be aware of each other's space when using, and waiting to use the machines. The use of art is a positive move away from the strictures of yellow warnings lines and 'you must not do this' graphics.'

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