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Christmas crackdown thwarts ATM fraudsters

31 January 2018 - 13:05 By Dave Chambers
ATM machine. File photo.
ATM machine. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

A crackdown on ATM fraud in Cape Town city centre reduced the number of festive season incidents from 50 to two.

After the success of the project‚ which involved posting guards at seven “hot spot” ATMs‚ it is being expanded to 25 sites in March.

Muneeb Hendricks‚ manager of safety and security for the Cape Town Central City Improvement District‚ said the ATM pilot project was rolled out alongside the Western Cape community safety department‚ which is funding 15 guards.

The targeted ATMs had clocked up 50 fraud cases between December 15 and January 15 a year ago. “However‚ with the new project‚ only two cases were recorded … during the same period … while seven incidents were successfully prevented during the hours of our team being deployed‚” said Hendricks.

Fred Watkins‚ from the community safety department‚ said the expansion of the project would see 50 graduates of the Chrysalis Academy‚ in Tokai‚ becoming “safety ambassadors” at ATMs.

Another 15 graduates of the Chrysalis youth development programme‚ were on duty in the city centre Company’s Garden over the festive period.

City centre councillor Dave Bryant said he used ward funding to sponsor an extra law enforcement officer dedicated to upper Long Street‚ the heart of the city centre entertainment district.

Said Bryant: “This officer has made a significant impact in Long Street‚ issuing fines in excess of R75 000 a month on traffic and by-law offences.”