THIEVES have stolen a potentially life-saving defibrillator from outside a Somerset theatre.

The device, which was housed outside the Macmillan Theatre in Bridgwater, was removed from the cabinet at some time around 9.30pm on October 1.

It was owned and overseen by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), and a spokesperson said the trust was 'disappointed' by the theft, which police are now investigating.

George Vincent, SWASFT community responder officer for Bristol and Somerset, said: “We are very disappointed by this apparent theft of one of our defibrillators.

“These devices are kindly funded and installed in partnership with the community by local organisations who want to support their communities and service users and to help increase the chances of survival for out of hospital cardiac arrests.

“This lifesaving equipment really is the difference between a life lost and a life saved and the malicious theft of this item put the whole community at risk.

Bridgwater Mercury:

“Fortunately we have serviced the theatre with a spare defibrillator already to ensure the local community has access to this lifesaving equipment if required.”

The defibrillator has been in place for free public access since September 2016.

Bridgwater & Taunton College and the ambulance service work in close partnership to support students and the community.

Anyone with information about the defibrillator should contact the Avon and Somerset Police either online or by calling 101, quoting the reference number 5220227070.