ATM crimes staggering

A mere count of how many bank automated teller machines (ATMs) have been bombed by heist gangs since January this year - 300 in all - is staggering.

So much destruction and in so short a time - nogal by gangs acting with growing impunity.

If such brazen plunder of bank cash has not elicited strong measures by now, we truly don't know what will.

With their increasingly daring bombings the ubiquitous ATM bombers have so far succeeded not only in fostering a climate of fear and despair but have left a footprint of invincibility and untouchability.

Their blatant disrespect for the law is invariably acted out in their indiscriminate and nonchalant attacks on police during the robberies.

Consequently, the public perceptions created are of cops on the back foot in their battle against the gangs. And the rarity of arrests, sparse prosecutions and suspected involvement of police in some of the crimes hardly inspires public confidence.

Prioritising ATM crimes alone is no longer enough. The police must wage a propaganda war by making the public aware not only of their progress but also by revealing ground covered in pursuing ATM criminals.

A public campaign portraying police gradually bloodying the noses of these crooks will surely resonate among the communities who know these bastards