School blitzed

PUBLISHED: 10:57 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:17 06 May 2010

Potton Lower School

Potton Lower School

VANDALS were responsible for forcing a junior school to close on Monday afternoon. Potton Lower School in Everton Road was again targeted by stone throwing vandals on Friday and Saturday night for the third weekend in succession. Twenty-five windows were

Pc Ross Patterson with graffiti daubed on the public toilets

VANDALS were responsible for forcing a junior school to close on Monday afternoon.

Potton Lower School in Everton Road was again targeted by stone throwing vandals on Friday and Saturday night for the third weekend in succession.

Twenty-five windows were smashed either by stones or being kicked leaving a carpet of broken glass in classrooms.

Damage was so serious that staff took the decision to close the school early while repair work was carried out.

Now police are taking a tough line against vandals in the town and decided on Monday to launch intense night operations to try to catch the culprits.

This weekend Biggleswade police will begin their crackdown on crime leading up to Christmas.

A month of vandalism at weekends in the town means more police will now patrol the town's streets at night. They will concentrate on known crime hot spots, mainly near schools which have suffered most, being targeted by stone- throwing youths who have caused over £1,000 worth of damage.

Both Potton Lower School and Burgoyne School have suffered with over 50 windows being smashed

The public toilets in the Market Square have been vandalised and are again covered in graffiti and Potton Town Council offices in Brook End have also suffered smashed windows.

Police are warning that youngsters seen wandering the streets could be stopped and questioned and officers might also search them. Last weekend, following the damage at Potton Lower School, three youths were later arrested. One was cautioned and the other two released on bail pending further enquiries.

"We are going all out to stop this vandalism as quickly as possible and will be putting more resources into Potton to try to find those responsible," said Potton beat manager Pc Ross Patterson.

"There will be more patrols in areas we regard as hot spots for vandalism and hopefully we can find those who have been causing all the problems over the past month.

"Officers will stop and search youths if they feel they are suspected of criminal damage or are acting suspiciously near any of the schools or places where we have had incidents in the past.

"This is a very strong message to youngsters in the town that we will eventually catch those responsible for this outbreak of vandalism.

"We just don't know why the schools have been targeted. It could be somebody has a vendetta against them."

Pc Patterson is now appealing to the public to help the police clear up this outbreak of vandalism fearing Christmas decorations in the town centre might become the next target.

"By the end of the week I shall be addressing the assembly at Potton Lower School to appeal to the pupils for information," added Pc Patterson.

Ruth Burmo, deputy headteacher of Potton Lower School, said: "The school suffered extensive damage to windows and doors over the weekend which the police are investigating. We took the decision to close the school early on Monday while repair works were carried out."

Anyone with information should contact Pc Patterson on 01234 842521.

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