The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has called for action following another ATM attack at a store.

The incident took place at a forecourt in Castlerock in County Londonderry last Friday morning. Thieves used a stolen lorry to try and remove the ATM from the wall of the store by reversing into it. Nothing was taken was taken from the ATM however it was severely damaged.

NIIRTA chief executive Glyn Roberts condemned the attack. “This is a disgraceful attack on an independent retailer who provides a vital community service to the local community in Castlerock,” he said. “The criminals behind this attack are attempting to steal from the community itself”

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, store owner Jason Maguire said: “The cash machine is a very important part of the business and it will take us some time to get things up and running again. A lot of people very much depend on us as it’s a free cash machine. We are really going to be struggling now without this, it’s going to be a major expense, we want to just get the shop back on the road and keep all our customers happy.”

Roberts said ATM attacks were happening more regularly and that retailers were suffering financially because of them. Acording to the Police Service of Northern Ireland £610,020 has been stolen in ATM raids between 2009 and March of this year.

“For some time we have been concerned with the growing volume of these attacks against our members and the severe financial costs to independent retailers as a result of them,” he said. “We have received numerous reports of members seeing their insurance premiums soar after these attacks.”

“NIIRTA has requested meetings with the PSNI Chief Constable, Policing Board and Justice Minister to press for a more effective co-ordinated approach to address these types of attacks and general crime against retailers”