Alliance Party Councillor Stewart Dickson said: “I call on banks to take action to help end this despicable scourge on our society. Police are doing good work to try and catch these thugs and the banks need to reciprocate by doing more to deter these thefts..
“The public have bailed banks out this year and it’s not too much for us to ask that they help us in the fight against serious crime.
“I want to know what sort of security arrangements these banks currently have in place. I would also like to see them changing the cash delivery schedule for ATMs because a lot of these robberies seem to take place very shortly after machines are filled.
“A dye mechanism should be employed to render the notes unusable. Another idea that has been floated is the use of some form of colourless liquid that can be used to identify those who have handled the stolen notes.
“Installing dye systems would be a fairly easy thing to do but some banks are obviously concerned about the cost of doing this. I would, however, ask them to consider the amount of money saved and hassle prevented if we can stop these robberies.
“I would also call on plant machinery owners to be vigilant. Their vehicles need to be well secured and locked up when not in use. I would also ask petrol station and shop owners need to make sure their CCTV is operational to counter this threat.
“We need to meet the sheer audacity of these robbers with ingenuity and vigilance to stop them in their tracks and put them behind bars.”