Concern as 39 break-ins at schools in Suffolk saw £23k worth of items stolen
The impact of burglaries and thefts at schools in Suffolk is not just measured on what was stolen or the repair bill to patch up the buildings - it is the effect it has on the pupils that can be the real crime, it has been said.
A total of 39 schools were targeted across Suffolk last year with £23,114.30 worth of goods stolen, a Freedom of Information request by the East Anglian Daily Times has revealed.
The number of schools struck by thefts has remained steady, hovering around the 40 mark, although the value of goods has increased.
Those targeted last year include St Albans Catholic High School, in Ipswich, where £500 of electrical equipment was stolen, and Ravenswood Primary School, also in Ipswich, which suffered the theft of £100 worth of electricians tools.
But Graham White, secretary of the Suffolk National Union of Teachers (NUT), said the disruption the crimes cause to children’s education is the bigger problem.
He said: “It has an affect on the day of the break-in and has a longer lasting impact. It can play on pupils minds and that is clearly a concern.
“For a number of pupils, school is a safe sanctuary for them and when that tranquillity and security is broken it can have big effect on them.”
Some schools, such as Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard, were struck while construction work was being carried out.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said it was a concern. He said: “It has an upsetting effect on schools and pupils because they will be aware of what has happened.
“It is not just the items that are stolen, it could have an adverse effect on pupils’ education.
“It is the same if it’s a classroom extension or repairs that are targeted.
“Stealing the construction equipment, if that puts work behind, has an effect on education.
“It is not just about the actual theft, it is the other circumstances that arise.
“They are properly selfish people who don’t give a jot about other people.”