What's the point of Muswell Hill's hole-in-wall zones?

I was sorry to read of the theft last week from a woman using an ATM in Muswell Hill (£500 cashpoint theft triggers police warning, H&H Broadway July 17) and hope that she will soon recover from the experience. Some weeks earlier, without consultation or

I was sorry to read of the theft last week from a woman using an ATM in Muswell Hill (£500 cashpoint theft triggers police warning, H&H Broadway July 17) and hope that she will soon recover from the experience.

Some weeks earlier, without consultation or notification, yellow 'privacy' markings were installed on the pavement at each cash machine in Muswell Hill. This shows that the markings may actually be putting vulnerable users such as elderly women at greater risk by lulling them into a false sense of security: those intent on carrying out a robbery are clearly unlikely to allow the presence of some markings from carrying out a theft if they think they can get away with it.

The police urge cash machine users to be aware of distraction tactics such as dropping a note on the pavement but I do not see how the markings would stop this practice -nor will they stop robbers from just hanging around outside the bank pretending to be waiting for somebody whilst looking out for likely targets.

The markings are detrimental to the appearance of the conservation area and as they do not appear to be having an effect on theft they should be removed. Users of cash machines can then resume doing what we did beforehand - allowing other users sufficient space on the pavement to carry out their transaction in privacy while looking out for each other.


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Banks have their own CCTV cameras and the council recently upgraded CCTV provision in the Broadway, so what is the point of these unsightly pavement markings?

John Crompton

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Donovan Avenue, N10

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