Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales writes:

Not fast enough!

Today at the Nat West cash point on Portland Street near China Town in central Manchester, I was withdrawing cash when I noticed a male and female of Eastern European origin loitering.

As the machine was about to dispense the cash I noticed them split and come each side of me knowing what was about to happen I focused only on the cash and as it came out I took hold of it immediately just as the guy came up to me and said ‘want to buy perfume’ with a box in his hand.

I took the cash out of the machine put it in my pocket and said “no” without even looking at him – please be aware of distractions at cash point machines, focus on the money and the card nothing else – had I turned to look at his perfume the female would have been off with the cash.

Also make a note of the emergency numbers of your bank cards – so if you do happen to become the prey of these people you can phone the bank immediately – I have all my card numbers in my mobile.

Secondly I wish banks would install mirrors above their cash points so you can see what is happening behind you when your back is turned.

Finally if this does happen to you, whether they get away with anything or not report it online toyour police service so they can gather intelligence and police crime hotspots.