DOZENS of items have been stolen from ambulances in recent years including lifesaving equipment, medicines and even vehicle parts.
Laptops, response kits, paperwork, radios, mobile phones, laptops and personal items were also among the items stolen in the 31 incidents over the last three years, figures uncovered by the Conservative Party show.
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The Scottish Ambulance Service has stressed that the stolen phones did not hold patient information, the laptops were encrypted, and the paperwork theft had been reported to the Information Commissioner for Scotland.
Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: “The idea of thieves targeting ambulances while paramedics attempt to save lives is sickening.
“People will be disgusted that this has occurred so many times across Scotland over the last three years.
“There may well be questions for the ambulance service about security of vehicles, but paramedics can hardly be expected to worry about break-ins while patients’ lives are at risk.
“Clearly the contents of ambulances make for appealing rummaging among some crooks.
“But anyone caught thieving from these vehicles is the lowest of the low, and must be treated as such by the law if and when they are caught.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “As the front line of NHS services in Scotland, our Ambulance Service respond to 700,000 calls per year, around 500,000 of which receive an emergency response.
“Delivering patient care is the absolute priority of ambulance crews and it is despicable that mindless thieves capitalise on these situations to steal equipment. Not only is the equipment on board vital to the ambulance crews but it could also be potentially dangerous in the wrong hands.
“Whilst NHS Boards have in place security policies, procedures and systems to ensure the security of personal property and equipment, we would also call on the public to be vigilant and continue to work closely with Police Scotland to ensure those caught stealing from ambulances are brought to justice.”
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