Vandal attack on Fylde coast defibrillator unit

The damaged weatherproof box where the defibrillator unit was kept
The damaged weatherproof box where the defibrillator unit was kept

Police are investigating and a fund-raising drive has been launched after a vital piece of life-saving equipment was vandalised.

Police were called to Rossall Promenade after a resident reported four youths attacking the defibrillator box there.

At 4.05am, on Wednesday, the group, three of which had bikes, was seen hammering at the weather proof casing and separate key box with a rock from the beach.

They broke the key box but could not get the key from inside it, so instead smashed the main unit to remove the defibrillator itself.

It was later found thrown on the beach.

Lancashire Police confirmed they attended the scene but the youths had fled.

A spokesman said: "We received a report form a member of the public at around 4am on Wednesday stating that four males were trying to steal the defibrillator at Rossall Promenade. A search was made of the area but the youths had left the scene."

Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group had organised its installation in 2016.

Jane Littlewood, chairman of the group, said “We worked with North West Ambulance Service to provide this public access external defibrillator for everyone’s benefit.

"Not only is this a residential area where a lot of elderly people live, it is also very busy practically every day of the year. It was an important piece of equipment which could be used to save lives.”

"It appears that this is the only defibrillator to be vandalised in the whole of Lancashire, something that the Group find especially disappointing."

The resident who saw the crime being committed, but who did not want to be named, said “I’m very disappointed as this is a vital piece of Lifesaving Equipment supported by NWAS.

"This was a thoughtless act, that four youths choose to vandalise such an important piece of Lifesaving equipment as it was strategically positioned on the Promenade to support the local community.”

Jane Littlewood said the equipment and case will cost £1,800 to replace and the group had launched a crowdfunding appeal which had already received many donations.

Jane said “The Ambulance Service are checking the defibrillator equipment to see if it is still functional, but the casing unit and the key box will both have to be replaced at some considerable cost”. She added “We are speechless that these people find this behaviour acceptable, especially when it’s something that is designed to save lives.”

The fund-raising site is at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rossallbeachdefib