23 December 2021

Power cables stolen from coronavirus vaccination centre

23 December 2021

Power cables are believed to have been stolen from a vaccination centre in the middle of a surge in Omicron cases.

The leads, used for a generator at a site in Tonbridge, Kent, were reported missing by local MP Tom Tugendhat on Twitter on Thursday.

Mr Tugendhat took to the social media site to try and source new cables to get the centre up and running for the day.

The Tonbridge and Malling MP, who has served as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee since 2017, said: “Someone has stolen the leads to the generator of the vaccination centre on Sovereign Way, Tonbridge. We need to replace them urgently.”

Twitter users responded with suggestions and outrage at the theft.

One said: “This should be treated as an aggravated offence at a time of civil emergency and punished with a very long mandatory sentence.”

Another added: “Oh my gosh, unbelievable! I can’t understand why someone would do that!”

One user suggested checking nearby CCTV. Mr Tugendhat responded: “We’ll get to that – first let’s get the site running again. Then yes, we need to get @kent_police involved.”

Shortly before 10am, Mr Tugendhat confirmed the site was operational again and vaccines were going ahead.

He said on Twitter: “Thank you for all the offers. I’m delighted to say @NHSuk is back up and running and vaccinating in Tonbridge. Thank you for pulling together – Tonbridge is a fantastic community and I hope we’re about to see @kent_police at their best..! Merry Christmas… to most people!”

Kent Police said it was “sending a patrol to the scene to try and establish more details”.

A spokesperson for NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group said: “A cable used for a generator at the Tonbridge vaccination site in Sovereign Way was stolen overnight, but thanks to the kindness of local business Piper Electrics, the cable was replaced very quickly for free and vaccinations were able to begin.

“We understand there weren’t any delays to the vaccine programme as a result of the theft.”

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