Police are investigating the theft and vandalism of a public AED (main image) at a Warringah Mall bus stop last night (Sunday, 26 November).
Bright yellow Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have been placed across the Northern Beaches by former Yellow Wiggle Greg Page and his not-for-profit organisation Heart of the Nation. Fifteen of the life-saving devices were installed in prominent public locations, mostly bus stops, in collaboration with Northern Beaches Council.
When the devices were installed in July 2023, Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins (image above) said the 24-hour availability could save a life.
“Any member of the public can access these life-saving devices when they need them, no matter the time of day. If you can access an AED within three to five minutes of someone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, you can increase their chance of survival to 70 percent,” said Mayor Heins in July.
When news of the theft and vandalism was posted on social media earlier today by the Northern Beaches Advocate, people expressed their shock and anger.
“I hope the same people never need this in an emergency. These things save lives. Vandalism like this is an absolute disgrace,” wrote one person on Facebook.
“Disgusting behaviour. Let’s hope the offender or one of their loved ones doesn’t need one at the time when it’s been stolen,” wrote another.
Those public sentiments were echoed today by Heart of the Nation Founder and former Yellow Wiggle Greg Page (image above).
“Heart of the Nation is deeply troubled by the instance of theft and vandalism involving Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on the Northern Beaches.
“Our team dedicates significant effort to distribute these life-saving devices across communities, and such actions hinder our mission to get an AED to a cardiac arrest patient within one minute,” said Mr Page.
Heart of the Nation also confirmed they were working with police to locate the offenders, and noted the fines for theft and vandalism of AEDs were up to two years in prison and a $5,500 fine.
NSW Police have confirmed the matter is under active investigation and asked for public assistance. A NSW Police spokesperson said police were called to the northbound bus stop at Warringah Mall, at Pittwater Road, Brookvale, last night after receiving reports of malicious damage and theft.
“About 10.00pm Sunday, 26 November, officers attached to Northern Beaches Police Area Command responded to reports an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), available to members of the public, was damaged and removed from a bus stop on Pittwater Road, Brookvale.
“As an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident continues, anyone who may have any information or dashcam vision is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” asked the spokesperson.
It is understood the AEDs are fitted with security devices, and the bus stop and surrounding area is monitored by CCTV surveillance.
Heart of the Nation AEDs are installed at the following locations on the Northern Beaches:
- Bus stop, 345 Barrenjoey Road, Newport
- B-Line terminus, Village Park, Mona Vale
- B-Line bus stop, 1472-1518 Pittwater Road, Warriewood
- B-Line bus stop, 1417 Pittwater Road, Narrabeen
- B-Line bus stop, 1060 Pittwater Road, Collaroy
- B-Line bus stop, 890 Pittwater Road, Dee Why
- The Strand, Dee Why
- B-Line bus stop, Warringah Mall, Pittwater Road, Brookvale
- B-Line bus Stop, 84 Kenneth Road, Manly Vale
- 381-383 Sydney Road, Balgowlah
- Bus stop, 138 Sydney Road, Fairlight
- Bus stop, 1 Belgrave Street, Manly
- Bus stop, 206 Pittwater Road, Manly
- Bus stop, 681 Warringah Road, Forestville
- Bus stop, 56 Glen Street, Belrose
Images: Josh Willis, Northern Beaches Advocate
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