The Co-op Group has teamed up with a forensic technology company SmartWater to roll-out a new deterrent linking criminals back to the scene of an ATM crime.
In a first of its kind, SmartWater, which has helped convict hundreds of criminals world-wide, have adapted their dispersal technology so that both the criminals and the stolen cash are marked, regardless of how the ATM is attacked.
Starting in Wales and the south west of England, SmartWater systems were installed at hundreds of cash dispensers located at Co-op Food stores last month. Each ATM was fitted with a unique forensic signature to help to track criminals.
Invisible to the naked eye, an amount of the gel the size of a speck of dust can help authorities with identification, and the forensic signature is guaranteed to last five years.
“The technology is at the forefront of combating ATM crime which not only impacts on retailers but can affect communities and customers too,” said Chris Whitfield, the Group’s director of retail and logistics.
“Teaming-up with SmartWater – whose proprietary technology has a proven track record in being a powerful deterrent – will utilise the latest ATM capabilities and innovations to benefit local communities and potentially reduce crime.”
Phil Cleary, chief executive and co-founder of SmartWater, said: “The ATM’s protected by SmartWater now represent too high a risk for criminals and the more professional will give them a wide berth.”