The brutal attack on a woman bank employee inside an ATM kiosk at a busy locality in Bangalore on Tuesday has highlighted the lack of security at similar facilities in the city.
Banks have not deployed trained security guards and installed closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at most of the ATM kiosks here though the police had asked them to do so to ensure safety of customers. There had been cases of money being stolen from ATMs in the past.
In the light of the incident in Bangalore, Police Commissioner M.A. Saleem has asked police inspectors here to identify ATM kiosks that do not have security guards and CCTV cameras.
“Based on their report, banks will be told to compulsorily install CCTV cameras and deploy security guards,” Mr. Saleem told The Hindu .
Asked whether the banks would strictly follow the instruction this time, Mr. Saleem said, “We will tell them to comply with the safety norms. These are a must to ensure the safety of customers.”
He said point books would be kept at ATM kiosks and police personnel on night patrol would be asked to record the timings of their visits daily.
Meanwhile, people here feel that it is risky to visit kiosks which do not have proper security mechanisms.
Ramesh, a local resident, said: “It is high time banks stepped up security at ATM kiosks. We sometimes need money in the night but it is risky to go out if kiosks don’t have security guards. All kiosks must display the contact numbers of police stations or the control room.”
There are several ATM kiosks of public sector banks which don’t have surveillance cameras or security guards. Some ATMs have security guards only in the night.
There is an ATM kiosk attached to a bank branch in Kuvempunagar here where the security guard at the branch works for the kiosk too.
Abhinav Khare, Superintendent of Police, said ATM kiosks could be secured only when they were manned by trained security guards. “It is high time banks considered deploying 24 x 7 security guards besides installing CCTV cameras to prevent attacks and thefts,” he suggested.
He said banks must develop a system to monitor CCTV footage from ATM kiosks for quick response in case of emergencies.
“Without the human element [security guard], it is difficult to secure kiosks. When so much of money is spent on the maintenance of ATM kiosks, banks can as well spend a few thousand more to secure them for the safety of customers and the machines which are loaded with cash,” Mr. Khare said.
He said banks must avail themselves of the services of trained security guards which are offered by registered agencies.