Splashing the cash, and criminals, could cut ATM crime in communities as the Co-op teams-up with award-winning forensic technology company SmartWater to roll-out a ground-breaking new deterrent linking criminals back to the scene of a crime.

In a first of its kind, SmartWater have adapted their dispersal technology to ensure that both the criminals and the stolen cash are marked, regardless of how the ATM is attacked – precise details are being kept under wraps for security reasons.

Starting in the South West and Wales, SmartWater systems will be installed at hundreds of cash dispensers located at the community retailer’s food stores this month (October), with a unique forensic signature at each ATM increasing the risk to criminals of being tracked and traced by Police following a theft, and helping to secure a conviction.

Invisible to the naked eye, an amount of the gel the size of a speck of dust can provide the “solution” for scientists to undertake a successful analysis and help Police with identification, with the forensic signature guaranteed to last five years.

Chris Whitfield, Co-op’s Director of Retail and Logistics, said: “The technology is at the forefront of combating ATM crime which not only impacts on retailers but can affect communities and customers too. Teaming-up with SmartWater, whose proprietary technology has a proven track record in being a powerful deterrent, will utilise the latest ATM capabilities and innovations to benefit local communities and potentially reduce crime.”

Phil Cleary, CEO and Co-Founder of SmartWater said ‘This technical development represents a serious upgrade in the security of ATM’s as SmartWater products have helped convict hundreds of criminals world-wide and retains a 100% track record in Court. Simply, the ATM’s protected by SmartWater now represent too high a risk for criminals and the more professional will give them a wide berth’.