Suffolk: Equipment worth more than £370k stolen from our schools

Headteacher Geoff Barton sat on an empty desk after five Apple Mac computers were stolen

Headteacher Geoff Barton sat on an empty desk after five Apple Mac computers were stolen - Credit: Archant

Thieves have stolen more than £370,000 worth of equipment from Suffolk schools over the past three years, new figures have revealed.

According to new figures, there were a total of 1,635 burglaries and thefts at schools reported to Suffolk Constabulary between 2010 and 2012.

The items stolen are estimated to be worth around £374,030.61.

King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds has been the victim of 11 burglaries and thefts over the past three years.

Thieves have stolen items including mobile phones, an iPhone, cash, a window frame and lock and lead flashing worth approximately more than £1,100.

Headteacher Geoff Barton said: “We are a large schools and also a community school so we encourage maximum use by the community which means that school is heavily used in the evenings and weekends.

“We are a school that prides ourselves on that. More people get to visit the school site than would be normal but we always follow guidance in terms of security measures but these figures suggest there is more we all need to be doing at a time when more people might be trying to take advantage of getting equipment.

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“We were one of a number of schools targeted by thieves taking Apple Mac computers earlier in the year.

“We all need to look more carefully at what we are doing for security.”

The figures were revealed in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Since the beginning of 2012 around 50 schools have been targeted with hundreds of laptops, computers and Apple iMacs taken.

A/Detective Superintendent Bernie Morgan said: “Schools are regularly visited by officers from their local Safer Neighbourhood Teams and offered advice and guidance on crime prevention and pupils are advised how they can improve their own security in relation to their personal possessions.

“Following a spate of burglaries at schools earlier in the year, schools were either visited or contacted by Suffolk Police offering crime prevention advice.

“Four people are currently on police bail in relation to this spate of burglaries and are due to return to the Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre on Tuesday, September 3. During school holidays, premises are particularly vulnerable due to being vacant for long periods of time and we would ask people to report and any suspicious activity to us on 101.”