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'These are not victimless crimes': Justice Minister slams spate of ATM robberies

The most recent raid took place in Dungiven, Co Derry, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

JUSTICE MINISTER CHARLIE Flanagan has condemned the string of ATM robberies in border areas, highlighting the strong co-operation between the PSNI and the Gardaí in working to solve the crimes.

The minister’s comments come in the wake of a raid in Dungiven, Co Derry, which saw a cash machine ripped from a filling station on the Feeny Road in the early hours of Sunday.

It was the eighth ATM theft in Northern Ireland this year, while similar incidents have also taken place south of the border in Cavan and Monaghan.

“These are not victimless crimes. It is clear that they have a significant impact on both businesses and communities wherever they occur and so it is imperative that they are stopped,” Minister Flanagan said.

Both An Garda Síochána and the PSNI are conducting investigations into these robberies and I am confident they will bring the perpetrators to justice.

Minister Flanagan was keen to stress the high level of co-operation between the Gardaí and the PSNI in investigating the trend.

He added that he expects the co-operation to continue after the UK leaves the European Union.

ATM Theft in Dungiven Source: PA Wire/PA Images

“There is a joint Cross-Border Policing Strategy operated between the two services, which covers the range of policing activities and contains a series of initiatives in which both police services are actively engaged.

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“Ensuring that this type of co-operation can continue into the future is a key priority for me and my Department, in any Brexit outcome,” he said.

Security analyst Tom Clonan told TheJournal.ie last week that organised crime gangs operating in border areas were almost certainly responsible for the slew of robberies.

Clonan said that the thefts showed the “fingerprint of either a paramilitary group of a dissident group”. 

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Ceimin Burke

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