AN AMBULANCE car used by a volunteer for life-saving work in the community was targeted in a “mindless” and "disgraceful" attack.

The wing mirror of the Bransgore Community First Responders’ first responder ambulance car was smashed which has meant it is unable to used to attend 999 emergency calls in the area.

Community First Responders (CFRs) are volunteers who attend calls in their local area and provide basic life support care until the arrival of the ambulance service.

The car was parked near Burnt House Lane while the on-call volunteer responder was inside his house. He had already attended two calls that evening, and the car was last seen intact at about 1.30am. But at 7.30am he found the mirror had been “smashed to pieces”.

It is understood that a number of other vehicles were also targeted and at about 6am some suspects had been chased by a neighbour.

Mike Jukes BEM, who is the co-ordinator of the Bransgore scheme: “While we share the frustration of everyone whose car has been damaged, to actually damage our ambulance car so it is not useable, during a time of the pandemic health emergency is disgraceful. As a result of this mindless action our volunteers are less likely to be able to provide that critical response in the first few minutes of a medical emergency or cardiac arrest. This really could cost lives in our community until we can get the car back on the road. Local communities donate money which enables South Central Ambulance Charity to provide the cars. To have someone do this is so disrespectful to those who care.”

Jack Ansell, the operations manager for South Central Ambulance Service in Hampshire, said: “The car is covered in high visibility markings, the vandals took all that into consideration and continued to cause damage. Damaging a vehicle which our local responders use in volunteer capacity and continue to raise funds to support, is disgusting.

“The team are now without a vehicle, which is only three months old, and this could significantly reduce the chances of them being available to the local community to attend a life-threatening call. The costs of repair or insurance excess will now have to be borne by the SCAS Charity and so this money cannot now be used for other lifesaving equipment. I would urge anyone with information to contact the police. I hope that those responsible don’t find themselves needing the services of the local community responders as their actions could well mean they are not available”

Hampshire Constabulary says it is investigating reports of criminal damage to 13 vehicles in Bransgore overnight from Saturday (November 14) into the Sunday morning (November 15).

It says vehicles were damaged in Betsy Close, Brookside Road, Elmers Way, Hill Close, Rosehill Drive, Shackleton Square, Shearsbrook Close, and Tyrrells Court.

A police spokesperson said: "Officers are making enquiries and are keen to speak with anyone who saw anything suspicious or who has any information about the damaged vehicles.
"They are particularly keen to speak with anyone who may have dash cam or CCTV footage from these roads."

Councillor Martyn Levitt, the New Forest District councillor for the Bransgore ward, said: "It is very disturbing that "mindless vandals" should vandalise so many cars. 

"The fact that they also thoughtlessly vandalised a "community ambulance" shows just how truly ignorant they are."

He urged anybody with information to contact police. 

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting 44200442389.