The Co-op is pioneering a forensic first with SmartWater to deter ram raids like the one that saw partial demolition of the community retailer’s Donington store.
The Co-op says “splashing the cash and criminals” could cut ATM raids as they roll out a new deterrent linking criminals back to the scene of a crime.
This technical development represents a serious upgrade in the security of ATMs as SmartWater products have helped convict hundreds of criminals world-wide and retains a 100 per cent track record in court.SmartWater CEO Phil Cleary
Ram-raiders used a tractor in a failed bid to grab the Market Place food store’s cashpoint in the early hours of Thursday, September 29.
The tractor was rammed into the store around eight times starting at 3.20am that day.
The Co-op’s facade was reduced to rubble and three men fled in two get-away vehicles.
In a first of its kind, SmartWater has adapted its dispersal technology to ensure that both the criminals and the stolen cash are marked, regardless of how an ATM is attacked.
The Co-op says the revolutionary system was in the pipeline before the Donington store was hit but it should reduce the risk of further incidents.
SmartWater systems will be installed at hundreds of cash dispensers at Co-op food stores, with a unique forensic signature at each ATM increasing the risk to criminals of being tracked and traced by police following a theft, and helping to secure a conviction.
Invisible to the naked eye, an amount of the gel the size of a speck of dust can provide the “solution” for scientists to undertake a successful analysis and help police identify those responsible. The forensic signature is guaranteed to last five years.
Co-op director of retail and logistics Chris Whitfield said: “The technology is at the forefront of combating ATM crime, which not only impacts on retailers but can affect communities and customers too.
“Teaming-up with SmartWater, whose proprietary technology has a proven track record in being a powerful deterrent, will utilise the latest ATM security capabilities and innovations to benefit local communities and potentially reduce crime.”
SmartWater CEO and co-founder Phil Cleary said: “This technical development represents a serious upgrade in the security of ATMs as SmartWater products have helped convict hundreds of criminals world-wide and retains a 100 per cent track record in court.
“Simply, the ATMs protected by SmartWater now represent too high a risk for criminals and the more professional (criminals) will give them a wide berth.”
• Donington Co-op opened a pop-up shop, stocking more than 120 everyday essentials in the Black Bull pub yard, the day after the raid. It is also trialling a free minibus to take customers to neighbouring stores.