The UT police have decided to get strict with banks that do not deploy armed guards outside automated teller machine (ATM) kiosks.
Carrying further the directions issued by the deputy commissioner to banks, the police have also written to all private and nationalised banks that no ATMs "will be allowed to function at night - say, 7pm to 7am - if they (banks) fail to provide security guards", informed senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sukchain Singh Gill.
He added that a survey was being conducted to check how many ATMs were without guards. Some banks have written back to the police seeking time to deploy guards - primarily awaiting arms licences - and the SSP has given them 20 days to procure arms licence and deploy baton-carrying guards till then. The police are also writing to the DC office to expedite the issuance of arms licences to the guards.
This year at least seven cases of ATM break-in have been reported in the city. The city has around 580 ATMs, of which, the SSP said, around 40-50 remain unguarded. However, HT's earlier reports have pointed towards the number being larger. As for daytime, the SSP said plans to close unguarded ATMs were restricted to night hours so that people were not inconvenienced.