ATM alarm aggravates shoppers at Glengarry

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 15/07/2014
Glengarry Takeaways owner Kerry Morton
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/Fairfax NZ
TAKE IT AWAY: Glengarry Takeaways owner Kerry Morton's ears are still ringing after he and his customers had to put up with a piercing Westpac ATM alarm that wailed for more than four hours on Sunday night.

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An Invercargill takeaway owner's ears are still ringing after suffering through a howling ATM alarm next to his shop for more than four hours.

Glengarry Takeaways owner Kerry Morton said he and his customers had to put up with the piercing sound from a Westpac ATM for four and a half hours on Sunday.

"It was still going when I closed up my shop at 8pm," he said.

His customers, waiting for their fish and chips, had to put their hands over their ears, Morton said. 'It was driving them crazy and they were asking me how I put up with it," he said.

The alarm went off after an elderly woman withdrew money from the ATM about 3.30pm.

"She came in looking concerned because she thought she set it off," Morton said.

Police eventually showed up about 90 minutes after the alarm started and Armourguard arrived at the scene as well, he said.

However, both left with the alarm still shrilling.

"I've then called the Invercargill City Council noise control but they didn't do anything or want anything to do with it," he said.

"If it was me having a party in my home with a loud stereo or my dog barking, they'd fine me."

The council should know who was responsible for the machine and hit them with a noise pollution fine, Morton said.

"All this does is send a message to anyone in Glengarry to smash the machine because no bugger will attend it if they want a bit of extra cash."

Invercargill City Council environmental health services manager John Youngson said the ATM should be linked to a security company.

In this case, it was Armourguard, which is also contracted by the council to deal with any noise complaints in the city, he said.

"When the council received a call about the alarm, we contacted Armourguard, who were already responding," he said.

An Armourguard employee confirmed the company attended the alarm on Sunday evening but were unable to turn the alarm off.

"The issue was our company did not have a code to deactivate the alarm," he said.

This was compounded by the monitoring company, Secom Guardall, insisting there was no audible alarm for the ATM.

"They didn't believe there was an audible alarm," the Armourguard employee said.

Eventually, a technician was sent by Secom, he said.

A monitoring manager at Secom declined to comment.

Westpac Southland business development manager Murray Heath said the bank contracted Secom Guardall to deal with alarms at its ATMs.

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The bank would investigate why it took so long for the alarm to be deactivated, he said.

- The Southland Times

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