EQUIPMENT worth almost £14,000 has been stolen from ambulances in Oxfordshire, new figures show.

The equipment has been stolen from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) vehicles since 2009.

Items taken range from a £15 penlight to a £10,500 defibrillator.

The total value stolen is £13,733.50, figures released through the Freedom of Information Act show.

Oxfordshire area SCAS emergency services manager Linda Scott said: “The financial impact is small, but it could be potentially life-threatening for a patient.

“The equipment we carry in ambulances is expensive, paid for by taxpayers and when we are required to use it, can be the difference between life and death.”

Oxfordshire SCAS area manager Aubrey Bell said paramedics did not always have time to watch an ambulance while trying to treat a patient.

He recalled an incident when he caught a thief in the back of his ambulance while treating an assault victim.

He said: “The patient was sitting down on the side of the road, we went back to the ambulance and found somebody rummaging around. We challenged them and they ran off. They had probably had a few beers.”

He added that SCAS is trying to use more disposable equipment to reduce the risk of contamination between patients.


August 2009: A primary response bag worth £160 was stolen from a Solo responder in Oxford

May 2010: A £2,600 Sat Nav was stolen from an ambulance in Oxford

January 2012: A £50 thermometer was stolen from an ambulance in Oxford

February 2012: A £160 primary response bag was stolen from an ambulance in Oxford

December 2012: A £10,466 defibrillator was stolen from a minibus in Banbury

June 2013: Two £282.50 high-visibility jackets, one helmet and a pair of high-visibility trousers were stolen from an ambulance at Kidlington.

June 2013: A £15 pen light was stolen from an ambulance at Kidlington.