Leicestershire Police are appealing for witnesses following a brazen theft at Ashby fire station, where life-saving equipment valued at thousands of pounds was taken.
In the early hours of Thursday, 21 September, the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) station, located at Wilfred Place, Ashby-De-La-Zouch, fell victim to burglars.
The thieves made off with an assortment of specialist cutting tools, equipment integral to responding to road traffic collisions, and thermal imaging cameras, batteries, and chargers.
PC Luke Jones, who is spearheading the investigation, expressed deep concern over the implications of such thefts.
“The LFRS plays a pivotal role in attending to incidents like road traffic collisions where this equipment is crucial. Beyond the financial ramifications, this theft could severely compromise the service’s commitment to public safety,” he said.
This incident isn’t isolated. Over the past 24 months, fire stations across the UK have been increasingly targeted by criminals:
- On 27 August 2022, a Leicestershire fire station was burgled with losses exceeding £20,000, including a drone, a thermal imaging camera, and a defibrillator.
- Greater Manchester’s fire station reported a theft on 15 June 2022, where items like a laptop, a hard drive, and a mobile phone, totalling over £1,000, were stolen.
- West Midlands faced a similar plight on 10 April 2022, with a haul including a defibrillator, a first aid kit, and a fire helmet. The cumulative value was pegged at over £500.
- In Kent, 15 February 2022 saw thieves make away with a laptop, a printer, and a scanner from a fire station, amounting to losses of over £2,000.
These instances underscore an alarming trend endangering the preparedness and efficiency of fire and rescue services nationwide.
The police urge anyone with information about the recent burglary or the whereabouts of the stolen items to contact them at 101, quoting 23*588533 or online at www.leics.police.uk.
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