Customers don’t feel safe around ABMs anymore
Amid the two recent attacks on Beryllium security guards, Jamaicans say automated banking machines (ABMs) are not places for them to linger.
On Sunday, Jamaicans witnessed the second multimillion-dollar robbery in a few weeks on ABMs in Portmore, St Catherine, where three security guards were shot and injured.
In the February 27 attack, one security guard was shot and killed while others sustained injuries when gunmen descended on them as they were leaving an establishment.
Likening these broad daylight attacks to action movie plots, Bjon Reid says he no longer feels safe using ABMs.
He told THE STAR, "With all this bag a heist thing weh a gwaan right now, not at all. Mi feel like is some Netflix special or something. Mi nuh feel safe. Mi feel like a some action movie thing a take place right now."
Echoing similar sentiments, Jada Yee said, "Not one bit [do I feel safe] because look at what's happening. Armed guards who work to fill the ABMs are getting attacked, so who am I to protect myself? They have firearms and they are being attacked." She said that should an armoured truck arrive while she is at the the ABM, she would likely faint.
"Mi a drop pon the grung. Yeah point blank. Mi faint. Mi gone. No questions asked. You wouldn't see me in the video 'cause me gone with the wind," she said. Unlike Yee, Toniesha Pinnock said she would leave the scene immediately.
"Mi a tek weh meself, you nuh see seh dem a get attack!" she said.
While the chilling events of the robberies have been making waves on social media, Kingston taxi man Abba said he does not feel unsafe at ABMs.
"Yeah man mi feel safe 'cause them nuh wah my money, a millions dem want. Me nah nuh millions," he said laughing. But Abba said that he also leaves when armoured vans arrive.
He explained, "Mi nuh cut [run away] man 'cause me know problem coulda deh deh so immediately, so me just liff up. Yeah dats it."
While the targets of the recent attacks have not been members of the general public, criminologist and self-defence expert Jason McKay told THE STAR that the people should attempt to make themselves smaller targets to avoid being hit by stray bullets.
"Just go low on the ground. It has been proven time and time again to make yourself a smaller target by going on the ground works most of the time," he said. "Trying to run to safety doesn't work because bullets move faster than people do, and now you're a standing target of five feet or more. So hit the ground and stay there until the firing subsides."