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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Kris Gourlay

Midlothian community 'extremely angry' after rugby club defibrillator vandalised

A Midlothian first responders group have been left angered after a potentially life-saving piece of equipment was vandalised.

The incident, which saw the defibrillator at Penicuik Rugby Club removed and vandalised, is thought to have occurred between Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4.

Local first responders put out a statement on Facebook confirming news of the incident, along with images of the damage caused.

READ MORE: West Lothian police appeal after row of trees 'suspiciously' set on fire near houses

The Penicuik Community First Responders said that they are "extremely sad and angry" after the incident, with the piece of equipment costing a lot of money to replace.

They added: "We are saddened and extremely angry to inform you that this Public Access Defibrillator has been vandalised. Sometime during late Friday night/Saturday morning the PAD was removed from the cabinet and vandalised. This PAD will have to be decommissioned as it is beyond repair.

"The cost to Penicuik Community First Responders to replace this Public Access Defibrillator, battery and pads will cost us in excess of £1,800. We are a charity and receive no funding. We rely solely on donations to help us purchase the Public Access Defibs.

"We were hoping to share the good news soon that two further PADs were going to be installed within the Penicuik area in the coming weeks. Sadly, this will now have to be put on hold as we will have to replace the PAD at the Rugby Club. This is a life-saving piece of equipment and this mindless act of vandalism is potentially putting a life at risk."

Midlothian Police are also appealing to the public and to anyone who may hold information as to who may be responsible for the crime, citing that it could have grave consequences if someone in the area needs the use of it.

The defibrillator was taken from outside the rugby club at the Old Pavillion/Public park. (Police Scotland)

They said: "Between Friday, 3 June and Saturday, 4 June the defibrillator at Penicuik Rugby Club was removed and vandalised. This is a lifesaving piece of equipment, which is now out of service for the foreseeable future until funds can be found to replace it.

"This was a senseless act which has potentially placed lives at risk with the nearest defibrillator to the park located at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Penicuik Town Centre.

"Officers are carrying out enquiries to trace whoever is responsible.

"Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting 1017 of the 4 June 2022.

"Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

The community first responders also added that a trail of blood was left at the scene, indicating that someone may indeed have been in need of the contents within defibrillator cabinet, but it does not explain the damage caused.

They added: "The area around the defib cabinet (i.e. the Rugby Club Steps) had a number of blood stains with a trail which seemed to lead from the Astro pitch. We are hoping that someone perhaps tried to access the defib cabinet looking for wound dressings (which are not normally kept with a defib).

"This we can accept as a reason to open the cabinet, however, scattering the contents across the public park and smashing the defib and battery are not acceptable behaviour and we hope that our community can help us find those responsible and educate them as to the sheer stupidity of tampering with equipment that is there to save life."

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