Already more ATM bombings than in all of 2021
In the first nine months of this year, there were more explosions at ATMs than in the whole of 2021. A census by ANP/LocalFocus shows that at least 11 such explosions took place in which damage was reported. Last year there were at least 10 explosions. Noord-Holland, and Amsterdam in particular, were most frequently targeted so far this year.
This can be deduced from reports from national, regional and local media in the period from 2017 to the beginning of September 2022. The number of ATM attacks peaked in 2019: in that year there were at least 48. In August of this year, Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (VVD, Justice and Security) pointed out the decline in the number of explosives raids in answers to parliamentary questions, but that trend seems to have come to an end.
The relatively high number of explosives this year may be due to homemade explosives, according to criminologist Jasper van der Kemp of the VU University Amsterdam. "Recently, the use of self-assembled bombs that are attached to the outside of ATMs has made a comeback. You see this especially in Amsterdam, which suggests that there are especially criminals there who have the idea that they can be successful in this way."
According to Van der Kemp, the long-term decline is mainly related to successful measures against various ways in which explosives are committed. "The 'gas bottle method' was used for a long time. With this method, an ATM was blown up with gas from a gas bottle. When that way could be circumvented by banks, criminals opted for the 'pizza slide method,' in which a flat explosive was slid into the cash drawer. Subsequently, many ATMs closed, which caused a further decline."
The most explosive attacks so far this year took place in Noord-Holland: seven out of 11 in total. In Zuid-Holland, Noord-Brabant, Friesland and Gelderland, one reported explosive device with damage took place this year. Since 2017, a total of at least 151 ATM attacks have been committed. All provinces were hit at least once. Of the municipalities, Amsterdam, with 23 such attacks since 2017, and Utrecht, with nine, stand out in particular.
Because the location is not registered in other counts of explosives attacks, for example those of the Dutch Banking Association, figures in this analysis are based on news reports. As a result, the actual number of explosions with damage can be even higher. Attempts were not included, nor were explosions at shops or homes.
Reporting by ANP