Vandals target Fakenham college

PUBLISHED: 18:49 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 14:40 07 July 2010

College bosses say there is little they can do to stop repeated wanton vandalism after more than 20 windows were smashed and other parts of the school damaged this week.

College bosses say there is little they can do to stop repeated wanton vandalism after more than 20 windows were smashed and other parts of the school damaged this week.

In total 23 windows were smashed, causing between £3,000 and £4,000 worth of damage to Fakenham College.

One of the windows was toughened glass in a door and staff believe it took about 12 blows before it smashed.

It is believed a lump of concrete, found nearby, was used to carry out the damage.

Roof felt was also ripped off, slate tiles were pulled off and smashed on the ground and metal from a chimney pipe ripped off - all some time between 6pm on Tuesday and 7.20am on Wednesday at the college in Wells Road.

College director John McCourt said the college suffered vandalism on a regular basis, but not on this scale.

The school's insurance premium has gone up by about £1,000 and it makes annual insurance claims of about £20,000 to £30,000, facilities manager David Plummer said.

In 2004 it suffered a massive arson attack - the second attack on the school in just three years at the time, destroying a hall, drama studio and changing rooms.

“We are sensitive to how vulnerable we are to attacks,” said Mr McCourt.

“It is a regular thing because the site cannot be made secure. People come on at weekends and at night and use the windows as target practice.

“Like any school we are always victim to low-level vandalism but this is much more than we normally get.”

He said they often got two or three windows broken. Sometimes they might go two or three months without any broken.

“We have looked at CCTV,” he said. “But it doesn't make a great deal of difference. There are always blind spots and people disguise themselves.

“Unless you can make the place secure, make all the perimeter fence too high to get over, you just can't do it.”

He said the best option would be 24-hour security at the site, but this would just cost too much.

Mr Plummer added: “Unfortunately we are becoming more used to it. We have taken as much police advice as we can. We have got lighting and we are improving it, but it is just difficult to keep people out.”

It is thought it is a small group of people who constantly target the school and they are hopeful they can get a prosecution, he said.

Inspector John Bane said: “This is pure wanton vandalism and we would urge anyone who spotted any suspiciously activity in the area or who believes they may know who is responsible to contact us immediately.”

t Anyone who might have seen anything in the area at the time which might help the investigation is asked to call PC Rebecca Rogers on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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