POLICE in Banbridge are asking local people to support the ‘School Watch’ initiative to help protect local schools over the Easter break.
Crime Prevention Officer, Michelle Wilson said: “The impact of criminal damage such as graffiti and broken windows can have a detrimental effect on our local schools causing funding to be spent on repairing the damage instead of being used for extra staff to help the children learn and on much needed school resources, like books and computer equipment.
“Money is also being constantly diverted from school projects to meet the expense of securing premises with crime prevention measures such as window grills, alarm systems, security cameras and fences.
“It is disheartening and frustrating to see how mindless acts of vandalism affect a school and, in turn, how this affects the whole community. Neither the schools nor the pupils deserve this treatment and I would urge members of the public to assist police in reducing this type of crime. No one wants to see teachers and pupils return to a school which has been vandalised.
“Local schools will form part of our regular patrols over the Easter holidays as we work to keep them safe and we would ask anyone who lives near a school to support us in this by keeping an eye out for anything unusual or suspicious. We would also urge parents to be aware of what their children are up to and where they are when they are not at home.
“People should not confront possible criminals - that responsibility lies with us- but public information is vital to helping us respond effectively.”
Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity can telephone police on 0845 600 8000 or in an emergency dial 999 and ask for the service you require.