Dutch banks are to shut down outside ATMs overnight to combat attacks by criminal gangs using heavier explosive charges to raid cashpoints.
The move to disable ATMs between 11pm and 7am each night follows ABN Amro's decision earlier this mon th to shut down and empty 479 cash dispensers as an emergency response to a sharp rise in ATM explosive attacks.
Geldmaat, the operator of the Dutch banking sector's joint ATM network, says the overnight shutdown will take effect immediately. The firm will also move any cashpoints that pose an elevated risk to nearby residents and place them in safer locations.
The company is working with De Nederlandsche Bank and the police to implement new measures which will render banknotes worthless if stolen by raiders.
“Cashpoint raiding undermines society,” explains Chris Buijink, president of the Dutch Banking Association. “We can’t just stand by and watch as explosives go off somewhere in the country every few days, particularly near people’s homes."
He says disabling cashpoints at night should have little impact on the access to and availability of cash as less than two percent per cent of all banknote withdrawals from outside cashpoints are made at night.
Over 70 people have been arrested so far this year in connection with ATM bomb attacks by special ATM Raids Units set up by the Dutch police force.