Police are hunting for a group of teenage yobs who were caught on CCTV smashing up an emergency defibrillator at a shopping centre in Redditch.
Footage of the scene shows a group of six school-age children surrounding the life-saving device and attempting to yank it off the wall.
At one point, an older member of the group appears to try and stop them attacking the £2,000 defibrillator before it is tossed on the floor.
The group then run away up a flight of steps after damaging the box at the Matchborough shopping centre in Redditch, Worcs., on October 29.
PC Clarke, of West Mercia Police, said: ‘I appreciate the CCTV footage doesn’t give a clear view of these individuals, but perhaps you recognise the clothing or maybe the mannerisms of them.
‘The mindless damage to the defibrillator is of real concern to the local community as it was put in place to help save people’s lives.
‘If you can provide any information as to who any of these people are please contact me.’
The gang smashed up the life-saving equipment before fleeing the scene
Anyone with information that may assist with enquiries is urged to report online or call 101.
Hundreds of defibrillators have been smashed up or stolen by criminals, putting cardiac arrest victims at a heightened risk of dying unnecessarily.
Between 2020 to 2022, police data show vandals targeted the life-saving devices 93 times.
Studies have shown that a shock given within three to five minutes can produce survival rates between 50 and 70 per cent.
The immediate delivery of CPR combined with early use of a defibrillator gives a person in cardiac arrest the best chance of surviving.
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