Mid Ulster MLA and Policing Board member Keith Buchanan has welcomed the establishment of a team of detectives to investigate ATM thefts following a spate of such incidents across Northern Ireland.
The DUP MLA said, “In February DUP members of the Policing Board raised the issue of ATM thefts with the police leadership and called for action to be taken on these thefts. I am pleased that this team has now been established and will focus on a crime that has a disproportionate impact upon rural areas.
"County Tyrone has been hit particularly hard by these thefts and they remove a vital service from the community. With bank closures people are increasingly reliant upon ATMs to access funds in their account. The destruction caused to the businesses who hosted the machines also causes yet further disruption to the community.
"These are not opportunistic crimes but the heavy machinery involved and the organisation required indicates a high degree of planning by those involved. I hope that the police can make progress in these investigations and bring the culprits to justice.”