Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Streetside ATMs unsafe, nearly half of Jamaicans feel

Published:Friday | March 12, 2021 | 12:17 AM
Per cent of population by level of safety at specific location
Per cent of population by level of safety at specific location

A new report published by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica has revealed that just under half of Jamaicans do not feel safe at ATM locations on the streets. According to data captured in the National Crime Victimisation Survey 2019, only 56.3...

A new report published by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica has revealed that just under half of Jamaicans do not feel safe at ATM locations on the streets.

According to data captured in the National Crime Victimisation Survey 2019, only 56.3 per cent of the public felt safe using the money machines on the street.

At the bank, 80.9 per cent of the public felt secure there, while a whopping 97.8 per cent of Jamaicans felt safe at church.

The survey was conducted between September and December of 2019 but captured data between September 2018 and August 2019.

The sample size of the survey was 6,354 people.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, commenting on the findings, contended that banks should pay attention to the results.

“In the public space, the area that the population feel most unsafe is at the ATMs. As banks expand ATM network across the country, they need to take this into consideration,” Chang said, while acknowledging that in-branch operations were more costly.

Chang, who is also deputy prime minister, said that the proposed implementation of a digital currency system would reduce exposure. The Bank of Jamaica is set to commence a pilot later this year.

“These particular statistics suggest concern because individuals who are not banked may not want to get into the banking system,” argued Chang.

The digital currency pilot is especially targeting those who are unbanked, Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke announced on Tuesday as he opened the Budget Debate.

The same survey showed that the participants, in total, experienced 25,953 incidents of bank fraud.

Yet only 48.3 per cent of bank fraud incidents had been reported to the authorities, the survey showed.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com