Banks across New York City are hunkering down and slashing hours at their ATMs in the face escalating crime across the boroughs — and possibly for other reasons as well, including the tendency of homeless people to use the vestibules for shelter from the cold.
Chase Bank is among those who are closing their vestibules during the overnight hours.
“Our apologies,” the Chase customer service department wrote in a tweet. “We decide[d] to close several ATM vestibules at 5 pm or 6 pm, aligning the hours of service to that of the normal branch hours, due to rising crime and vagrancy that occurred in these previously 24/7 vestibules.”
But Chase is not the only bank taking this step, according to amNY Metro.
Citizens Bank is doing the same at many, although not all, of its locations. Santander Bank is closing its vestibules after 10 pm, as has City National Bank, citing public safety as the reason.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues is a top concern,” said Eleni Garbis, a spokesperson for Citizens Bank. “Like a number of other banks, we have temporarily closed some ATM vestibules overnight at certain New York City branch locations where we have seen repeat activity that could present a potentially dangerous situation for our customers or colleagues.”
It’s not clear how many Chase ATMs are currently closed overnight, although doors are being shut after 10 pm in several locations, including the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights and Long Island City in Queens.
New York State regulations require banks to install security cameras to record all those who enter the bank and/or its vestibule, and the footage must be kept for 45 days. The security cameras must also be able to record at least three feet of space in front of ATMs installed outdoors.