Pepper Spray In ATMs To Stop Criminals

Posted By Ben Goulding, 19 July, 2009 | permalink

Cash machine criminals have become a big problem for South Africa. The number of cash machines blown up with explosives has risen from 54 in 2006, to nearly 500 last year. This problem needs to be solved. Deploy more police onto the streets perhaps, or how about increase surveillance? Well South African officials had a much better idea…they decided to squirt the criminals with pepper-spray, directly from inside the cash machine.

ATM. Image: delhinybank

ATM. Image: delhinybank

Cameras are used to detect whether someone is tampering with the card slots. If they are, another machine releases pepper spray to stun the criminal while police response teams race to the scene.

“But the mechanism backfired in one incident last week when pepper spray was inadvertently inhaled by three technicians who required treatment from paramedics.”

At present, only a few ATMs are using the technology, however if the scheme is successful it will be expanded to cash machines around the country.

What are your opinions on this? Is it too extreme or is it what’s needed to try to stop ever growing numbers of cash machine criminals?


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