Man arrested after eight ambulances had tyres slashed


A man has been arrested after eight ambulances had their tyres slashed during two separate incidents in Thanet, Kent.

Nine tyres on six vehicles were deliberately damaged overnight between March 21 and 22, before three tyres on two ambulances were damaged during the night between March 28 and 29, Kent Police said.

The suspect, 47, from Ramsgate, was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage earlier today. He has been taken into custody for questioning.

Maintenance staff have been working ‘tremendously hard’ to get the ambulances back on the roads with minimal disruption to service, a spokesperson for the South East Coast Ambulance said.

They continued: ‘It is extremely disappointing that an individual would target the ambulance service in this way, at a time when the vast majority of the public have been fantastically supportive of our staff during these difficult times.’

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information about the attacks, which all happened on Haine Road, in Ramsgate.

District Commander for Thanet, Chief Inspector Ed Ruffle, emphasised how necessary the ambulances were for NHS workers tending to the coronavirus crisis.

He said: ‘To cause damage to ambulances during a time when it is so important all medical resources are available, is deeply concerning and we are continuing to carry out additional patrols in the area.

‘We thank those who have come forward already with information.

‘Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the Haine Road area, on either dates, is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/52297/20.’

The vandalised ambulances are just the latest in a series of attacks seemingly targeting NHS workers and volunteers working against the coronavirus pandemic.

Community responder Helen Crouch, 41, was left in tears after finding vandals had stabbed her tyres as she delivered food and medicine to vulnerable people in her area. She later discovered her windows had also been smashed and the car’s metal scratched.

Another NHS worker who cycled to her job everyday had her bike stolen during her shift, leaving her chasing after him in the street.

Meanwhile Dr Alec Watson was also forced to miss hours from his shift at King’s Cross Hospital in Dundee after his car windows were smashed for no reason.