ATMs sans camera fluster cops | india | Hindustan Times
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ATMs sans camera fluster cops

CITY COPS are angry at banks for not maintaining their Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). The grievance of policemen stems from their successive failure in identifying criminals who could have easily been nabbed had cameras in the ATMs been functioning properly.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 14:22 IST

CITY COPS are angry at banks for not maintaining their Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). The grievance of policemen stems from their successive failure in identifying criminals who could have easily been nabbed had cameras in the ATMs been functioning properly.

Whether it is a case of robbery, murder or a fraud, criminals who get away with booty often take away victim’s ATM cards and also try to draw money. However, in several major crimes lately, due to non-functioning cameras these criminals have not been identified, said Crime Branch officials.

In two cases of murders, ATM cards were missing and it was found that money was drawn from the account of the deceased. Unfortunately for the police when they reached the ATM for investigation, they found the cameras were dysfunctional and had not recorded any image. In both these cases the killers seemed to be close to the victims and thus would have been aware of the pin number.

“If the culprit is known to the victim (a relative, a close friend or a domestic servant) and has somehow got the pin number, he tries to draw the money from the ATM straight after the crime,” says a police official. “Also, we have seen cases where naïve people write their password on the cover of the ATM card itself or tell their password to close friends,” he added.

In fact, a few petty criminals who were not aware that a pin number is needed to withdraw money also tried their hands and went to the ATM to try their luck. Clearly, the grievance of sleuths seems justified after their successive failures to nab the criminals who drew the money from the ATMs just because cameras are defunct.

Crime Branch of Bhopal police visited over half-a-dozen ATMs of various banks in the capital on Thursday and found that at no place cameras was working, said DSP Surendra Shukla. Police officials say  cameras are for the safety of the ATM also and keep a check on various frauds and banks must ensure the maintenance of the cameras. Bhopal Police are now writing to various banks to ask them to ensure that their cameras remain functional.


Missed chances
In the past, several crimes have been solved with the help of cameras but defunct cameras have frustrated police lately. In the murder of a retired government officer in Shahpura, police had to wait for almost an entire year to lay hands on proper evidence to nail the accused because the camera was dysfunctional. 

In the case of the murder of a middle-aged woman in Govind Garden last month, the police found that her ATM card was missing and also Rs 6,000 was drawn from her account but all enthusiasm of investigators vanished when they reached the particular ATM and found there was no camera.