In an appalling act of recklessness, mindless vandals have wreaked havoc on a life-saving ambulance in the Hartlepool area, leaving the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) stunned and livid.
The shocking incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, May 31, while the hardworking crew were inside a house, responding to an emergency call.
The thugs, showing a complete lack of respect for the life-saving service, smashed the ambulance’s windows, ripped out a portion of the dashboard, and tore out electronics, including a radio, a data terminal, and a tablet computer, which were found strewn across the nearby road and pavement.
No Respect for Heroes
On returning to their vehicle, the devastated crew were appalled to find their means of transport was incapacitated by this senseless act.
The heartless culprits fled the scene, leaving behind a trail of destruction that will take an estimated three weeks to repair, costing the service a whopping £2,100.
In this case, thankfully, the patient didn’t need to be rushed to the hospital. But imagine if they had – it doesn’t bear thinking about.
But shockingly, this isn’t an isolated incident.
NEAS has been a frequent target for yobs with nothing better to do.
According to statistics, there were 125 reported incidents of criminal damage to NEAS emergency vehicles in the 12 months up to March 2023.
Most of these incidents, a whopping 80%, occurred in urban areas.
What is the most common type of damage? Graffiti accounts for 50% of the incidents.
Moreover, other damage types included slashing tires, keying bodywork, and breaking windows.
And while in 70% of incidents, the villains were caught and arrested, the typical sentence is just a paltry £500 fine—an absolute disgrace.
A Plea to the Public
NEAS is urging anyone with information about this recent incident to come forward.
This type of crime isn’t just an attack on a vehicle; it’s an attack on the community, delaying or even preventing life-saving services from reaching those in desperate need.
If you see someone damaging an emergency vehicle, don’t stay silent.
Get on the phone and call the police. Let’s stand up against these cowards and show them we won’t tolerate this sort of behaviour in our communities.
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