Gryphon Evolution2018-09-25T14:08:13+00:00

The evolution of Lockpoint’s Gryphon

Lockpoint’s Gryphon has evolved over the years to counter the ever-changing nature of the threat from criminals who want to get their hands on our cash.

The most comprehensive defence against the whole gamut of criminal strategies was originally designed in 2009 as a deterrent to armed gangs targeting ATM cash-in-transit replenishment teams (CiT).

The philosophy behind the device was to limit losses by ensuring only one of four cash drawers could ever be open at any one time, thus rendering attacks no longer “cost-effective”. It evolved out of a close partnership between Lockpoint and Tesco Bank, whose CiT teams were increasingly the target of armed gangs, leading to cash losses were running into seven figures annually.

While the concept is relatively simple, its execution is based on high quality precision engineering and electronics. The electronic mechanism ensures that only one of the four interlocking protective steel doors that protect the four cash-dispenser drawers can be open simultaneously. And, once closed, no door can be reopened until a preset time has elapsed.

Fitting the Gryphon to the majority of ATMs in Tesco’s 3,000-strong estate had a dramatic and immediate impact, as losses plummeted 90 per cent, and injuries to CiT and other staff declined by 83 per cent.

As Tim White, Tesco Head of Security, said at the time: “The collaboration between Tesco and Lockpoint is evidence of both innovation and true partnership.”

The doors are made of different grades of steel, making it extremely difficult to gain access using oxy-acetylene equipment without also destroying the cash inside. They also contain moving parts to thwart attempts to gain access using grinders during an out-of-hours attack, or burglary, or if the entire ATM is removed in a “ram raid”.

Unsurprisingly, many other UK banks followed Tesco’s lead and commissioned Lockpoint to protect their ATM estates. There are today around 5,000 Gryphons in place across the UK ATM estate.

Inevitably, however, the threat to the UK’s ATM estate changed as armed duress was rendered less attractive and, in 2013, the UK saw the first attacks using injected explosive gases.

It was, however, more or less by chance that Lockpoint became aware that the Gryphon also provided a defence against such gas attacks, when a number of ATMs attacked in this way survived with their contents intact.

Laboratory tests demonstrated that, with only a small modification, the Gryphon could be made to withstand even an “optimal” gas attack using the best possible mix of the most flammable gas and air. Lockpoint then conducted live field tests, which verified the lab findings.

At the time of writing the Gryphon, when correctly operated, remains undefeated in a gas attack and for a variety of major clients in the banking and building society sector has also continued to provide the best possible defence against burglary, duress and ram raids.

Of course, the Gryphon cannot prevent collateral damage, which can be as great as the potential cash loss – greater in some cases. However, Lockpoint maintains that history has demonstrated that the mere presence of a Gryphon device will deter attacks: at the end of the day, criminals learn and will not waste time attacking an estate that is known to be protected by Gryphon.

Watch a video about how the Gryphon has evolved to counter each new ATM threat…