Europol calls for action to clamp down on ATM attacks

The European Union's police agency is calling for concerted action across the continent to tackle attacks by criminal gangs targeting ATMs.

Europol said Monday that physical attacks on cash-dispensing machines rose 27% last year, racking up economic damage of 36 million euros ($40 million) in 21 countries that reported to the European Association for Secure Transactions.

The Hague-based Europol is urging ATM operators to clamp down on the attacks and suggested less cash is left in the machines and making it traceable if stolen. It also wants security improved to make it tougher to break into ATMs, and increasing the risks for criminals by improving evidence sharing.

Europol says measures "should be adopted at the European level" to prevent a crackdown in one country driving criminals to more vulnerable countries.