Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Ambulance vandalised on 999 call

The damage inside the vandalised ambulance
Police and Crimestoppers are offering a reward to catch those responsible

Vandals who attacked an ambulance while its crew was helping an injured toddler on a 999 call stooped "to the lowest level", the ambulance service has said.

The ambulance was parked outside a house in Don Close, Tilehurst, Reading, on the afternoon of New Year's Eve when the front side windows were smashed.

Thieves then stole the vehicle's satellite navigation system.

A South Central Ambulance Service spokeswoman said anything that delayed a crew potentially threatened lives.

'Absolutely disgusting'

Police and the Crimestoppers charity have offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and charge of those responsible.

The toddler was not seriously hurt but the ambulance was left out of action for the rest of the night, which was one of the busiest of the year.

The boy was taken to hospital in another vehicle.

The ambulance service spokeswoman added: "Over the winter period we have seen a significant rise in calls and this means there is greater pressure on the service.

"Anything that delays an ambulance crew potentially threatens the safety of patients.

"Vandalising, and stealing from ambulances is absolutely disgusting, a crime that stoops to the lowest level."



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