Ask an Officer
Question: Are there any safety tips for using ATM machines?
Answer from Kate McLaughlin, Crime Prevention Specialist:
- Do not select an ATM at the corner of a building. Corners create a blind area in close proximity to the customer's transaction. Select an ATM located near the center of a building. An ATM further from the corner reduces the element of surprise by an assailant and increases effective reaction time by the user.
- Identify an ATM with maximum natural surveillance and visibility from the surrounding area. This will create a perceived notion of detection by a criminal and increases the potential for witnesses.
- Select an ATM at a location void of barriers blocking the line of sight of the ATM. This includes shrubbery, landscaping, signs and decorative partitions or dividers. Barriers provide hiding areas for would-be assailants.
- Select an ATM that is in a well-lighted location.
- Whenever possible, select an ATM that is monitored or patrolled by a security officer.
- Select an ATM with a wide-angle transaction camera and/or a continuous transaction surveillance camera. Consult the bank or location management for this information.
- Solicit prior criminal activity statistics from law enforcement for the ATM site and surrounding neighborhood.
- Avoid ATM locations with large perimeter parking lots and numerous ingress and egress points.
- Maintain a small supply of deposit envelopes at home, in your car or office. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM site. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the ATM.
- Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Do not become so involved with your transaction that you are not aware of changing conditions around you.
- Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to an assailant.
- Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car in close proximity to or at a distance from the ATM location.
- When leaving an ATM location make sure you are not being followed. If you are being followed, drive immediately to a police, sheriff or fire station, crowded area, well-lighted location or open business. Flash your lights and sound your horn to bring attention to your situation.
- If you are involved in a confrontation and the attacker is armed with a weapon and demands your money or valuables, COMPLY.
If you would like to submit a question to Ask an Officer, contact Community Policing at the Euclid Police Department: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 216-289-8449.
I am the Community Policing Specialist at the Euclid Police Department.