LYTHAM trade chiefs will tonight discuss the shock discovery of a pin number spy camera found in a town centre cash machine.
The scam has heightened fears crime in Lytham will rise when the town’s police station closes following masive £42m budget cuts by Lancashire Constabulary.
Lytham Enterprise Group meets this evening.
Member Marc Whitehead, who runs Exquisite Shoes, Clifton Street, Lytham, said he at least would raise the issue at the meeting.
He said: “It is worrying. We are just sitting targets. Again it is one of those things where they are doing that, or doing shops. It’s quite important we have this police presence.”
The alarm was first raised at the Lloyds TSB cashpoint, Clifton Street, where a small hole was discovered above the keypad last Thursday. Police then checked other cash points and discovered a camera installed in the machine at Santander, Clifton Street.
Joy Halliday, of the Coffee Bean, Clifton Street, who has started a petition to save the police station, said: “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’ Mark Blizzard, who shops in Lytham, added: “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.”
Lytham resident Peter Isaacs, who had just used the machine, said: “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, 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?”
Police have not received any reports from victims, but are advising people to shield their pin at all times when using machines. Officers checked cashpoints across the Fylde at the weekend but said they had only found the two affected. Anyone with information can call police on non-emergency number 101.