Not a smooth criminal

Not a smooth criminal

A UK judge has taken a swipe at contactless card payments because they make life too easy for criminals.

According to the BBC, Exeter Crown Court recorder David Bartlett says it is “quite ludicrous that the banks have allowed this to happen”, after hearing how a card was used by a thief to buy goods soon after being stolen.

The BBC states that Robert Vipond was jailed for 18 months at Exeter Crown Court after admitting fraud and theft offences. He used the contactless card to buy £23 of tobacco and groceries in Exeter. (£23 won’t buy you a lot – UK is way too expensive… for everything.)

Bartlett, who may have originated from another planet or is a time traveller from the 18th century, adds: “It seems anyone who steals a card can wave it around until it is reported as stolen.”

Well, yeah. Welcome to the real world.

The BBC adds: “The [contactless] offence was one of a spree in which Vipond used two stolen cards to withdraw £250 cash, buy a £1,500 watch and spend £279 of clothes.”

It is doubtful the words of Bartlett will have any impact on the popularity of contactless payments. People appreciate the convenience and it could be argued that any system has some element of risk.

By the way, Vipond is a “heroin addict with 32 previous convictions for theft, and had been released from a four and a half year sentence nine days before the offences”.

Maybe the UK judicial system needs a revamp and some innovative thinking?