A male has been arrested after an ambulance was taken from outside West Suffolk Hospital. The incident happened yesterday evening (23rd August) at around 21:00 hours.
The ambulance was seen driving near the hospital with its back door open. A paramedic and patient were spotted by stunned onlookers inside the vehicle.
After being alerted to the incident, police were quickly on the scene and indicated for the ambulance to stop. Initially, it failed to do so but stopped on Rougham Road.
Most emergency ambulances used to be fitted with ‘run lock’ meaning that they could be left with the engine on and the key removed.
If a vehicle fitted with ‘run lock’ is moved without the ignition’s key, the engine cuts.
However, ‘run lock’ is no longer standard for all
emergency ambulances. It is unclear if the emergency vehicle taken during this incident had ‘run lock’ installed.
As it is not possible to run an ambulance’s air conditioning without the engine running, most ambulances fitted without ‘run lock’ have to instead leave the key in the condition.
A spokesperson from Suffolk Police said:
“A 51 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to provide a breath test”.
He was taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning.
A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust said:
“We can confirm that our crew member and the patient they were transporting were unharmed following an incident which took place at West Suffolk Hospital last night.
“We are supporting the staff who were involved and will be contacting the patient’s family today.
“We are liaising fully with the police regarding the incident and are unable to comment further while their investigation is ongoing.”
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