A police officer who condemned thieves for stealing a defibrillator from a school has helped them replace it – thanks to the generosity of a local charity.
PC Emma Bowman has been working with schools and a local charity over the past four years to have defibrillators installed in schools on her patch.
Together with her colleagues in the Gateshead West Neighbourhood Policing Team, Emma has helped raise funds to purchase the life-saving equipment.
Last month she has spoken of her shock after police received a report that thieves had stolen a defibrillator from outside Bill Quay Primary School on Davison Road.
PC Bowman condemned the actions of the person responsible and called on them to do the right thing and contact police.
She also pledged to try and replace the equipment and organised a charity boot camp to help raise the funds to buy the school the equipment.
But the officer was delighted when she was sent a message on social media by local charity the Stephen Carey Fund who offered to buy the equipment themselves.
Together they presented teachers and pupils at Bill Quay School with the new defibrillator on Wednesday (September 11).
And PC Bowman still took part in a charity boot camp, dressed in full police riot gear, at LG Fitness in Dunston on Sunday.
She sweated it out so she could raise money to help pay for more defibrillators and life-saving training at schools across the region.
She said: “I was really shocked that thieves had targeted the school and robbed them of equipment that could ultimately save a life.
“Myself and my colleagues have been fundraising for a while to get defibrillators fitted in every school in Gateshead so this was quite upsetting.
“I wanted to do something to help and as soon as I heard what happened I got in touch with the school.
“This equipment costs hundreds of pounds and so I decided to hold this charity boot camp to see if we could raise some of the cash.
“But before that could even take place we got a message from the Stephen Carey Fund who wanted to pay for the replacement equipment out right.
“That was really kind of them and I am delighted that the school has been able to get a replacement as a defibrillator really can save a person’s life.
“I still went ahead with the charity boot camp and it got a bit hot and sweaty as I did a full work-out in our police riot gear.
“The money won’t go to waste and we will be looking to see if we can fund some CCTV at Bill Quay to avoid this equipment being stolen again.”
She added: “We have still not identified the person responsible for the initial theft but we would ask them to do the right thing and speak to police.
“Anyone who has information about what happened, or who committed the offence, can still report it by calling us on 101.”
The defibrillator is believed to have been stolen between 12pm on Saturday, August 24, and 9am on Monday, September 2.
Anyone who can assist police should call 101 quoting log 665 02/09/19 or report it online at the Northumbria Police website.