A councillor is appealing for witnesses to come forward after a vital piece of medical equipment was stolen from a public park.

Thieves stole a defibrillator – a device which gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest – from King George V Playing Fields in Wednesfield on 30 September. It is just one of a number of thefts involving community based defibrillators in recent months.

The high energy shock given by defibrillators is an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who is in cardiac arrest, and equipment has been located in public places across the city so they can be used by members of the public in an emergency.

The City of Wolverhampton Council has arranged for the stolen defibrillator to be replaced, with the new one installed this week.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "It is mind boggling to think that someone would steal such a vital piece of equipment, and in doing so put someone else's life in danger.

"To help someone who is in cardiac arrest effectively, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible. For every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce.

"That's why it is crucial that they are widely available – and easily accessible – right across Wolverhampton, and that's why it is so disappointing to hear that they are being stolen.

"Fortunately, we have been able to replace the unit at King George V Playing Fields and I would urge anyone with any information about the theft to contact police on 101, quoting crime reference number 20/1808239/21. I would also ask park users to be extra vigilant so that we can ensure the new defibrillator is safe and ready to be used, if and when required."