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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Head's plea after vandals attack north Cumbrian school

The headteacher of a primary school targeted by criminals has pleaded for them to think about their community.

Geoff Norman photo
Geoff Norman

Longtown Primary School is preparing to install new CCTV cameras after its roof was damaged at the weekend when yobs ripped lead from it. They did not take the metal away.

A goalpost on the school’s football pitch has also been damaged.

The total cost of the vandalism, carried out between Friday and Monday, has been estimated at about £900.

In April burglars broke into the building and stole equipment from its nursery and then dumped it near the banks of the River Esk.

The school has also suffered regular small acts of vandalism.

Geoff Norman, the primary’s headteacher, has called on those responsible to remember that the school is an important part of the community.

He said: “In terms of the effect on the school there is a financial cost. A lot of the vandalism is small scale and we can’t get insurance money for it.

“I would like [the people responsible] to think about the effect this has on the community as a whole.”

He also pointed out that the primary school has recently taken over Longtown’s multi-use games area (Muga).

This is a hard-surfaced area, originally part of Lochinvar School, which Cumbria County Council kept ownership of after the secondary closed. It was threatened with closure last year because of concerns about bullying at the site and after youths were found to be building BMX ramps there.

However, the primary school took this over in April and Mr Norman is determined it should always remain open for community use. He said: “We don’t want to allow the minority to spoil access to the Muga for the community.”

The school already has some CCTV cameras but will now be adding more.

He also urged people in Longtown to contact the police if they do see anything suspicious in the area.

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