Defibrillator case vandalised in Kelso

Police are appealing for witnesses after a specialist cabinet housing life-saving equipment was destroyed by vandals.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 11:03 am
Kelso Heartbeat trustee Martin Hadshar with the damaged defibrillator cabinet in Kelso’s town square.

A temperature-controlled cabinet containing a public access defibrillator in Kelso’s town square was damaged overnight on Friday, October 2.

It is the third time that the cabinet outside James Stewart and Son in Woolmarket, installed by Kelso Heartbeat five years ago, has been targeted.

A post published on the charity’s Facebook page on Saturday said: “The defibrillator cabinet outside Stewart’s in the square has been vandalised yet again.”

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It added that a group of youngsters had been seen running up the street between 11pm and 11.30pm on Friday, “booting everything in their path”.

Kelso Heartbeat trustee Fiona Hall said: “The cabinet door has been broken and replaced twice before. However the whole side is broken this time, so the whole cabinet needs to be replaced.”

The specialised, wall-mounted box is designed to maintain the defibrillator’s battery by heating the cabinet, and will cost £500 to replace.

“We are just lucky it’s not frosty or I would have had to remove the defibrillator until a new cabinet came, because the cabinets are temperature regulated and heated in the cold weather,” Fiona said.

“This is the third time the equipment has been vandalised. It is very frustrating.

“This is an emergency piece of equipment bought by the community donating money, and should be respected.”

She added that the defibrillator, located on the external wall of James Stewart and Son electrical shop in the town square, is still in full working order, with the cabinet due to be replaced soon.

The incident has prompted renewed calls for improved CCTV in the town centre.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland through 101, quoting incident number 1414 of Saturday, October 3.”