ATM attacks on the rise in South Africa

February 5th, 2012 - 11:00 am ICT by IANS  

Cape Town, Feb 5 (IANS) Attacks on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have increased rapidly in South Africa over the past one year partly due to poor policing, a report said.

A total of 399 attacks took place in 2010-2011 compared to 247 attacks in 2009-2010, a rise of 61 percent, Xinhua reported citing the Institute for Security Studies.

Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were the hardest hit provinces, said the institute.

Since the start of the year, ATM attacks have taken place in Eastern Cape, North West and Western Cape.

The latest two attacks took place in Cape Town Friday, an area that had remained mostly unaffected in the past.

“Street-facing” ATMs or exposed ATMs usually are easy targets where bombers or gangs can gain access, it said.

Most of the attacks took place between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. in areas with poor lighting.

There was, however, no details on how much money have been stolen.

The institute attributed the increase in attacks to disarray in the crime intelligence unit and a lack of experienced detectives.

Organised crime syndicates were taking advantage of weaknesses in the policing system, said Johan Burger, crime expert at the institute.

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