A police officer says lives have been put at risk with the theft of a community defibrillator.
Northants Police is appealing for information after a community public access defibrillator was stolen from Main Street in Little Harrowden.
The cabinet which the defibrillator was stored in had been forced open and the defibrillator stolen.
It took place sometime between midday on March 26 and 7.30pm yesterday (April 4).
A defibrillator is a safe and easy-to-use device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.
Its use can save someone’s life.
Sudden cardiac arrest happens about 140,000 times a year in the UK, making it one of the UK’s largest killers.
Lloyd Raines, county co-ordinator for community response in Northamptonshire, said: “Defibrillators save lives and this mindless act has life-threatening consequences.
“In a cardiac arrest seconds count, early CPR and defibrillation gives the patient the best possible chance of survival.
“Community access defibrillators are often used within minutes of the cardiac arrest happening meaning the patient receives early treatment while our clinicians travel to the emergency.
“This behaviour is not only reckless, its illegal and we are working with Northamptonshire Police to support their investigations.”
The community public access defibrillator was purchased by the parish council and installed in December 2017.
A message posted by Wellingborough PCSO Paul Hurst via the county force’s neighbourhood alert system said: “The potential for saving a life is dependent upon time, the faster medical help can be attained, the better the chance of survival.
“Clinical studies suggest you have less than five minutes from the event to save the life, this decreasing by up to 23 per cent per minute.
“In rural areas, it can take longer to get medical help, so community public access defibrillators such as the one stolen, have a very important part in helping save lives in rural communities.
“This theft has put lives at risk.”
Any witnesses to the theft can call police on 101 quoting reference 18000151390.
Officers would also like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time or has been approached by anyone trying to sell a defibrillator.