A COMMUNITY has spoken of its shock after a secret camera to spy on people’s pin numbers was found in a town centre cash machine.
The alarm was first raised at the Lloyds TSB cashpoint on Clifton Street, Lytham, where a small hole was discovered above the keypad last Thursday.
Police then checked other cash points in the town and discovered a camera installed in the machine at Santander on the same street.
The discovery has led to fears crime will escalate in the town when Lytham Police Station closes with locals keen for security to be stepped up rather than scaled back.
Joy Halliday, of the Coffee Bean on Clifton Street, who has started a petition to save the local station, told The Gazette: “This is yet another crime which shows why it is vital we have a police presence in Lytham.
“When I lived in Liverpool I was never affected by crime but when I moved to a quiet village crime was rife, I remember asking a police officer about it and he said it was because there was no police presence – that is what is happening here.”
St Annes resident Mark Blizzard, who shops in Lytham, added: “I always shield my pin number because you never know who is watching, you have to be so careful.
“It’s a sad fact of life, crime is everywhere and unfortunately we don’t seem to have much of a police presence in the town.”
And Lytham resident Peter Isaacs said: “I’ve just used the cash machine, I’m glad the camera had been taken out.
“There seem to be criminals everywhere, I didn’t check before I put my pin in, I will in the future though.”
Andrew Simpkins, of Strong’s Grocery Store, opposite the Santander branch, called for extra security to protect vulnerable residents.
He said: “We have an elderly population round here, people aren’t that sharp on technology so more should be done to protect them.
“Why isn’t there a camera pointing at the machine so we can catch the people who are installing the cameras.
“It’s not fair people are open to this type of abuse, I don’t use cards but a lot of people do, they should not be fearful to use a cash machine.”
Police say they have not yet received any reports of people having been victims but are advising people to shield their pin at all times when using machines.
Officers were checking cashpoints across the Fylde over the weekend but said they had only found the two affected.
Anyone with any information should call police on new non emergency number 101.