Schools to remain vigilant over vandalism

EDUCATION bosses have warned Suffolk schools not to become complacent after figures showed vandalism on school sites has dropped dramatically in the past five years.

New statistics revealed by Suffolk County Council show there have been 26 cases of vandalism in 16 schools since the start of the year.

The cost of the damage since January 1 stands at �16,336 .

In 2005, 135 schools across the region fell victim to more than 830 cases of vandalism – costing a total of �461,431. By 2008, this figure had decreased to 103 cases across 44 schools.

Councillor Graham Newman, the county council’s portfolio holder for children and young people, said although the figures were pleasing, he hoped school officials would remain vigilant.

“I think in some ways this reduction in school vandalism can been tied up with the enforcement of safeguarding in our schools,” he said.

“I think that past cases of vandalism – such as fires which caused destruction at Copleston High School and St Felix School have lead to extra precautions.

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“Although the drop in cases is clearly a positive sign, we do need to maintain vigilance over this. We are reminded to keep watch over this issue because there is no time for complacently.”

A reminder of the problem is provided by vandalism earlier this month at Beacon Hill School in Ipswich. Since September last year, vandals have targeted the special school in Stone Lodge Lane West by smashing windows, throwing sports equipment across the site, smashing green house windows and damaging security lights.