2017 update: After a successful pilot scheme, resulting in a 90% reduction in ATM crime, we’re happy to announce that forensic technology will be installed in approximately 2,500 cash machines at Co-op food stores across the UK. 


We have teamed up with award-winning forensic technology company SmartWater to roll-out a new deterrent linking criminals back to the scene of ATM crimes.

ATM crimes, unfortunately, happen at our food stores and greatly affect the community in which the crime has taken place. This new technology could cut the number of ATM crimes and minimise the impact these crimes have on communities and customers.

Teaming-up with SmartWater, whose proprietary technology has a proven track record in being a powerful deterrent, will utilise the latest ATM security capabilities and innovations to benefit local communities and potentially reduce crime. Chris Whitfield, Co-op’s Director of Retail and Logistics

This SmartWater system is a first of its kind. Its dispersal technology ensures that both the criminals and the stolen cash are marked, regardless of how an ATM is attacked.

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

We plan to install SmartWater systems at hundreds of cash dispensers located at our food stores. There will be a unique forensic signature at each ATM  meaning that the likelihood of criminals being tracked and traced by Police following a crime will be increased.

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. Phil Cleary, CEO and Co-Founder of SmartWater

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