Retailers with businesses in the border counties say they are bracing themselves for further thefts of ATMs following a spate of attacks in the region.

According to Retail Excellence, retailers at risk of such attacks are angry and concerned about the ongoing risk to their firms.

"It seems that we are hearing of another ATM theft almost on a daily basis at this stage, of another business targeted and destroyed, and vital services taken away on which many local people rely," said David Fitzsimons, CEO of Retail Excellence.

"These criminals are physically gouging out huge holes in banks and filling stations, but they're also tearing apart dependent businesses and retailers."

Mr Fitzsimons said the retailers in border areas want assurances that everything is being done to prevent further attacks.

In total so far this year, eight ATMs have been stolen on both sides of the border after they were ripped from buildings using diggers and taken away on trailers.

According to Retail Excellence, the crime is not victimless and has a long-lasting impact on individuals businesses and their local economies.

"These are clearly dangerous people that don't care about property damage or the effect that their activities have on people," said Mr Fitzsimons.

"The danger is that the digger will be set alight at a filling station, putting neighbouring homes and businesses at peril. "
The organisation has also warned that increased insurance costs associated with the thefts could put the retailers out of business.