Theft from ambulances is costing London Ambulance Service £17,000 per year

11 March

Shattered glass from ambulanceOver the past five years, theft of vital medical equipment from London Ambulance Service cars and ambulances has cost over £85,000.

Thieves have stolen numerous items from our vehicles including: medical gases, paramedic kit bags, drug packs, stab vests, defibrillators, radio handsets, satellite navigation units, personal bags, infection kits, mobile phones and uniforms.

Earlier this week a 44-year-old man pleaded guilty to stealing a mobile data terminal (MDT) from an ambulance attending to an elderly patient on Spencer Street in Southall.

Jeeta Pankhania, of Homerton Road, was sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay £80 in costs at Isleworth Crown Court.

Director of Operations Paul Woodrow said: “Stealing equipment from our ambulances and cars while our clinicians are treating sick and injured patients is putting lives at risk.

“Our vehicles hold vital emergency equipment and these actions impact on the care we deliver.

“There is also the financial cost to our Service of replacing the equipment.

“Theft or damage to our vehicles will not be tolerated and we will work with closely with the Met police to ensure anyone who is caught stealing or vandalising will be prosecuted.

As well as dealing with stealing of vital equipment, vandalism is a recurring issue.

Earlier this week a Service fast response car had to be taken off the road due to offensive graffiti sprayed on the vehicle.

Paul said “These thoughtless crimes are taking our crews and vehicles off the road and slowing down our response to sick and injured Londoners.”

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Notes to Editors

  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust is the busiest emergency ambulance service in the UK that provides healthcare that is free to patients at the time they receive it.
  • We have over 4,500 staff, who work across a wide range of roles based in 70 ambulance stations.
  • We serve more than seven million people who live and work in the London area.
  • For more information, please contact the Communications department on 020 7783 2286 or communications@londonambulance.nhs.uk
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