School to install CCTV to cut vanadalism

By Alison WithersA SCHOOL has had to install closed circuit television cameras in an effort to curb vandalism and improve security.Hadleigh High School took the decision to spend £9,000 on seven cameras after being plagued by 11 incidents of damage at its Highlands Road site over the past two years.

By Alison Withers

A SCHOOL has had to install closed circuit television cameras in an effort to curb vandalism and improve security.

Hadleigh High School took the decision to spend £9,000 on seven cameras after being plagued by 11 incidents of damage at its Highlands Road site over the past two years.

But since it installed the system, the school has been told it should have got planning permission for the cameras and for two metal containers on the school field.


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School headteacher, Ian Carrington, said: "I think it's a great shame that we have to spend money provided for children's education on protecting the buildings, but we feel the expenditure is justified and will be cost effective.

"In the past we've had little bits of damage like the odd window broken, but we felt we had reached a point where we could justify the expense."

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The school's problems started with an arson attack in February 2002 when two large wooden sheds on the school playing field were burned to the ground.

The fire destroyed sports equipment and groundsman's tools and after that the school replaced the sheds with metal containers.

Since then the tyres of cars in the car park have been slashed and stones have been thrown through windows. Panels in a roof over a walkway have been destroyed, the concrete base of a bench removed and trees uprooted.

Mr Carrington said just one incident alone had cost the school about £2,500. Seven closed circuit television cameras have been installed on high poles around the site, which also contains the Hadleigh leisure centre.

The system runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and digital images are downloaded straight to a computer hard drive, avoiding the need for video tapes.

Mr Carrington said another advantage of having the system was staff in the leisure centre felt safer when they were in the building in the evenings.

The school has now applied to Babergh District Council for planning permission and Mr Carrington hoped the situation could be sorted out as soon as possible.

alison.withers@eadt.co.uk

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