Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) - In the fight against ATM blowers, the police in North Rhine-Westphalia are now also relying on eyewitness videos. A reference portal was activated for this purpose, via which cell phone videos or photos can be uploaded to a so-called cloud. The police can thus "access such evidence in a bundle and evaluate the files," according to the Ministry of the Interior.
Normally, the investigators only activate the reference portal for individual incidents and for a limited time. You can currently still upload photos or videos of shots being fired at a man in Essen in early May. The category "NRW ATM blasting", on the other hand, is permanently activated. The background, according to the Ministry of the Interior: Citizens - startled by the noise of an explosion at night - often take videos or photos with their cell phones of the perpetrators or the getaway vehicle. You can now upload them - anonymously if you wish.
In view of the skyrocketing number of ATM blasts, the Interior Ministry has intensified the fight against the gangsters. A few weeks ago, Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) said the police had been on the streets at night nationwide "with all available forces" since the beginning of February. A new additional special commission in the Ministry of the Interior should also increase the pressure on the perpetrators.
There had been several unusual cases in the past few days: in Münster, strangers blew up an ATM at a gas station. During a blast in Castrop-Rauxel, the police shot a perpetrator. After an ATM attack in Ibbenbüren, the perpetrators almost killed an officer, which is why an attempted murder of a police officer is being investigated. There, the officers shot the perpetrators.
Regarding the new information portal, Interior Minister Reul told the dpa: "When searching for ATM blasters, time is a decisive factor. The information portal allows the police to quickly and easily access images and videos that show the perpetrators blasting or the subsequent escape." The police are hoping "for a lot of information from the population that will help us to catch the unscrupulous perpetrators more often and faster."