Look out for school vandals

PUBLISHED: 12:34 01 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:05 11 May 2010

POLICE are asking residents to keep a watchful eye on local schools over the summer holidays. Summer holidays began two weeks ago, and Hertfordshire police say break ins often occur over the during August as thieves try to take advantage of empty classroo

POLICE are asking residents to keep a watchful eye on local schools over the summer holidays.

Summer holidays began two weeks ago, and Hertfordshire police say break ins often occur over the during August as thieves try to take advantage of empty classrooms and quiet playgrounds.

The call comes a week after two schools in Crow Country were broken into. Vandals let off a fire extinguisher at Bassingbourn Village College, and damaged sports equipment stored at Studlands Rise First School, Royston.

Insp Richard Beechey, lead for Youth Issues with Herts Police, said: "Residents who live near schools or pass by them regularly, really are our eyes and ears and can make a big difference in preventing a crime in taking place. Burglaries are a huge cost to schools, not only in terms of the amount of money it takes to replace stolen equipment, but the inconvenience of repairing broken windows and doors, and the irreplaceable damage to cherished items."

Hertfordshire County Council are also backing the initiative.

Cllr Richard Thake, executive member for education and skills, said: "We are grateful that the police have drawn attention to this issue. We do give advice to schools about security on their premises but additional help from the public is always welcome."

The incident at Studlands Rise saw a group a yobs break into the school grounds on Tuesday night. They drank alcohol and uprooted goalposts belonging to organisers of a holiday football course.

Last Sunday, three teenagers entered Bassingbourn village college through an open window after climbing onto the roof. They then sprayed the contents of a fire extinguisher over computers in the school's I.T. suite.

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