The recent mugging of a woman at an ATM in Bangalore has jolted the banks and police officials out of their slumber.
The demand for security personnel has shot up in the twin cities following a police order directing the banks to depute guards at all ATMs.
Shortly after the Bangalore incident, Hubli-Dharwad Police Commissioner B A Padmanayan convened a meeting of bank managers and laid out rules to beef up the security arrangements. After this, there has been a spurt in deploying security guards at unguarded ATMs.
“We have been receiving several requests for providing guards at ATMs across the city, both armed and unarmed. Earlier the banks used to depute old men but the demand now is for fit and trained guards,” said Subhash, Chief Executive Officer of ‘Safe Hands 24/7.’
It May Take Time
Though the demand for security guards has gone up, the time period in which all these rules have to come into existence is less.
There are various procedures involved in deputing security guards in ATMs. It may take longer than expected as CCTVs and alarms need to be installed. The time will depend on the needs of a bank,” said A C Kulkarni, security advisor of an agency in the city.
When asked about the commissioner’s suggestion that ATMs in far flung areas and new layouts need to be shut at night (a rule that will come into place from Friday night), Kulkarni said the very concept of an ATM is lost if this happens.
A senior officer of the State Bank of India said: “Our foremost objective is the safety of the customers. All the 107 State Bank of India ATMs in the twin cities have able security guards manning the premises and this arrangement has been in place even before the Bangalore ATM incident,” he said.
Residents too are happy with the new rules. Anusuya Hippargi, a home-maker, said: “I was shaken after the incident and these rules are very helpful. It will make us women feel safe.”