ATM robberies dropped

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The first three months of 2014 saw only six robberies of bank ATMs police say, a steep drop in comparison to the corresponding period in 2013 when thieves cracked no less than 129 of the money machines.

Police say the drop is the direct result of better cooperation between banks and Public Prosecutor's office. And the nationwide approach and exchange of information that police initiated in 2012 to quell the rise in ATM robberies, also lead to the arrests of a number of people. In total police arrested 65 people in 2013 in connection with ATM robberies; they also seized several weapons and tools that had been used for the heists. "From the first time national we held a national operation -June 10 2013- we noticed a drop. By the second time the drop continued," police say. Authorities are upbeat and credit the "good cooperation." "The Dutch Bankers Association took several safety measures; the Prosecutor's Office demanded heavier punishments and police joined forces and knowledge. This is a good example of the added value of having one police corps. We are better able to change gear as one force, but also with our partners," said Jannine van den Berg, a member of police management. The "partners" signed a covenant in March this year, that governs the exchange if information and gives police good insights into the trends and the methods potential robbers use. This enables partners to take preventive measures and it eases the investigation, but at the same time, banks tailor their security investments.  Van den Berg said it also helped that many of the criminals who committed ATM robberies are currently in jail. Police in the meantime monitor in case there is a sudden increase in other crimes. "But that has not been the case as of yet," she said.

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