Firebugs torch school premises

FIREBUGS who torched an area of decking at Needham Market Middle School have today been branded as "irresponsible".At least £1,000 worth of damage was caused following the fire, in School Street, which came perilously close to spreading to the school building.

FIREBUGS who torched an area of decking at Needham Market Middle School have today been branded as "irresponsible".

At least £1,000 worth of damage was caused following the fire, in School Street, which came perilously close to spreading to the school building.

The blaze was reported at around 5pm on Monday and was attended by one fire engine from Stowmarket.

One hose reel was used to douse the flames, which took hold at the rear of the building and spread to a small area of the playing field.


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Paul Elding, Needham Market's community police officer, said the fire was being treated as suspicious, although it is unclear how it started.

"It may be two-fold, he said. "It may be a totally reckless act of damage or it may be a case of someone having a barbecue or something. Either way it's irresponsible.

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"It's private property and no one should be on there in any case. Once again, it's a case of one or two spoiling it for the rest."

Although the school has been targeted by vandals in the past, the summer holidays had passed without major incident until now, according to Pc Elding.

He said he had received details of people suspected of causing the damage and was investigating the incident.

Previously, a new door entry system was installed to monitor people entering the school reception but the playing fields are still accessible via a public footpath.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: "Obviously we're concerned about vandalism of this kind to school premises.

"We would encourage anyone with information about it to contact the police as soon as possible."

Anyone with information about the crime is urged to contact Pc Elding on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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