Members of a north-east community have reacted with exasperation after a defibrillator was vandalised for the third time in two years.
The appliance was installed in Market Square, Stonehaven, in December 2016 and within a year had saved the life of a 45-year-old woman who had stopped breathing.
However, the defibrillator has suffered repeated attacks by vandals, the latest of which occurred at the weekend.
Having lost patience with the recurrent vandalism of the life-saving equipment, community leaders now plan to install CCTV in the area.
Stonehaven and District Community Council chairman Raymond Christie said: “CCTV isn’t cheap, but we’ll have to get the money somehow.
“We can’t have this happening every few months, it’s ridiculous.”
Police are appealing for information.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
It is understood the defibrillator was targeted between 3.30pm on Friday and 10.30am on Sunday.
PC Marc Camus, who is leading enquiries, said: “If the defibrillator unit had been accessed to help someone and give life-saving assistance I could understand accidental damage.
“Yet there have been no emergency calls relating to any medical condition that would require access, therefore I can only assume that this is yet another incident of vandalism.
“The incidents are becoming so regular that perspex is now being used as opposed to glass to reduce the costs.
“This is wholly unacceptable and I urge anyone with information to get in touch as soon as possible.”
The defibrillator was installed by the community council after it was donated to the town by Baker Hughes, whose employee John Trudgill tragically lost his brother Peter in 2014 after a huge wave swept him into the sea.
A second defibrillator was installed at the harbour last year.
After the Market Square defibrillator was damaged and had its pads stolen in July this year, Sergeant Mark Conner said: “I’m astounded that anyone would go out of their way to vandalise a potentially life-saving piece of equipment.
“It is inexcusable and certainly will not be tolerated.”
Anyone with information on the latest act of vandalism can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.