A COMMUNITY is reeling after a defibrillator was stolen from their village.

The theft of defibrillator from a cabinet in Billington in the Ribble Valley has been branded ‘pointless and senseless’ by police.

Now, a fundraising page has been set up in a bid to replace the vital piece of life-saving equipment.

A spokesman for the fundraiser said: “I’m looking for donations from the local community of Billington and Langho and neighbouring villages or further afield to help replace this life-saving bit of kit as soon as possible because it would be a tragedy should the need for one arise within the village and we be found lacking.

“If you can spare a few quid to help safeguard our local residents, many of whom are old age pensioners, then it would be very much appreciated.”

To bridge the gap between now and the funds being raised for a new one, the North West Ambulance Service has loaned villagers a replacement unit.

Police officers in the area are now urging anyone who may have information on the defibrillator’s whereabouts to come forward.

A spokesman said: “Besides this item being an expensive piece of equipment, the fact that it could potentially save lives means it is an invaluable asset to your local community.”

Sergeant of the Ribble Valley, Kevin Day, reiterated the message, saying: “This is just one of those ridiculous crimes which is totally senseless.

“There is no real value to it as they can’t sell it on and it is there for the community to use.

“Whoever has taken it will almost certainly have one within easy reach of wherever they live so it seems a senseless and pointless crime.”

If you have any information about the crime, contact Lancashire police on 101 or through their website.

Alternatively you can come forward anonymously using the Crimestoppers website.