A cash machine (ATM) protection system produced by two UK companies has defeated criminals who tried to blow up an ATM in an explosive gas attack. The raiders fled empty handed when Gunnebo UK and Safe & Vault Company’s Gas Attack Protection (GP-X) system detected the gas, prevented the explosion and instantly alerted the police.

"Of course, we would rather such a potentially dangerous crime didn’t exist at all, but we are pleased to be able to offer a proven protection against it," said Gunnebo UK key account manager, Steve Lockhart.

"We can show banks and other ATM operators how the system works in our trials, but a real-life success has customers queuing up as soon as the news gets out in the financial marketplace."

Lockhart says the first GP-X system was installed in December 2014, and thwarted a gas attack in May. The latest attempted raid, on a high street bank cash machine, was prevented last month. "Once again, there was no collateral damage to the building, the money was untouched and it was business as usual for the customer," added Lockhart.

Wolverhampton-based Gunnebo UK and Leeds-based Safe & Vault Company joined forces to develop the GP-X solution, which can be retro-fitted or installed at manufacturing stage.

They can’t reveal too much about how it works for security reasons, but the GP-X has multiple gas detection heads, and the system works on a three-phase approach following detection. There is the purge, control and finally supress.

The two companies have also launched the ATM Strongarm, an anchoring system to protect cash machines from ram raiders and digger attacks.

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