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Police use flower power’ to beat Cambridgeshire ram raiders

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Police hope a triple deck, solid concrete flower ‘pot’ could be a key to beating ram raiders who hit Cambridgeshire ATMs on average at least10 times a year.

“You may just see some flowers at Stukeley Meadows Tesco Express store in Huntingdon but they’re part of our work to combat ram raids,” says Cambridgeshire police.

“It’s been a real team effort – the concrete planter was donated by Huntingdonshire District Council while Dobbies gave us the compost and discount on the flowers, funded by us through our community safety partnership fund.

“Methods like these make it harder for ATMs to be targeted,” Cambs Police tweeted today.

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Ram raiders will find it trickier to get into this ATM at Tesco, Huntingdon, after a ‘flower power’ initiative backed by police.

“We’ve stepped up patrols, but you can help.”

Police re issued a warning from the summer for the public to report anything suspicious around cash machines as they step up patrols and statistics reveal ram-raiders target Cambridgeshire at least 10 times a year.

Ram raiders will find it trickier to get into this ATM at Tesco, Huntingdon, after a ‘flower power’ initiative backed by police.

Crime data analysed by the force highlights that Huntingdonshire is the local authority area most affected by ATM thefts, with 30 offences recorded in the past 10 years, while South Cambridgeshire has had 23 offences reported in the same timeframe.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris O’Brien said: “Ram-raids are likely to take place between September and January when the nights are darker.

“With these months fast approaching and the intelligence we have, we believe ATM thefts are likely to increase in the coming months and are therefore launching a pro-active policing response.

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“Our patrols will increase across the county, and we will also be working with partner agencies to target suspects and educate businesses with cash machines about potential risks, and more importantly any protective measures, that they can take.”

Gamlingay Co-op ATM ram raid

He added: ““We are committed to making it harder for ATM thieves to target our local shops and ATM machines and will be targeting areas we believe are at increased risk – but we cannot do it alone.

“We need the public’s help to report anything suspicious or anything they see that might not seem quite right, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. One call could make all the difference and potentially stop a store or petrol station being targeted.”

Isleham Co op ram raid: police used a helicopter to round up suspects.

How can I help?

Officers will be increasing their regular patrols and members of the public are being asked to:

  • Ensure their vehicles have working trackers installed – particularly owners of high-performance cars, ‘heavy vehicles’ such as transits and flat beds which could be used to ram an ATM and plant
  • Consider installing video doorbells or CCTV
  • Report anything suspicious, for example people scoping houses or tampering with number plates
  • Report any instances of people appearing to be paying attention to cash machines, including taking photos or unauthorised people attaching ‘out of order’ signs to give an impression the machine is not working properly
  • Raise concerns about anything that does not feel quite right involving high performance cars, heavy vehicles or plant travelling in the vicinity towns and villages during the hours of darkness
  • Report high-performance or ‘heavy’ vehicles that are not usually in the area and appear to have been left parked for a few days

Concerns or information can be reported online via the force’s dedicated web chat page or by calling 101, quoting Op ATMosphere.

Always call 999 in an emergency.

 

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