West Suffolk: Third laptop raid on primary school in 14 days

PREVIOUS RAID: Headteacher, Anna Berridge (right) and deputy head, Sian Skevington, are pictured at

PREVIOUS RAID: Headteacher, Anna Berridge (right) and deputy head, Sian Skevington, are pictured at Risby Primary School next to the cupboard that their laptops were stolen from. - Credit: Archant

MORE than £20,000 of laptops has now been stolen from schools in west Suffolk in a series of identical raids.

Police, speaking after a third school was targeted in less than two weeks, said they are now offering every primary and secondary in the county an individual security survey to help protect their property.

Fifteen computers worth about £4,000 were taken from Moulton CEVC Primary School, Moulton, near Newmarket, sometime between Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

Detectives said last night they were considering if the theft at the School Road site is linked to burglaries at Risby CE VC Primary School and Roughham Primary where laptops were also taken.

Linda Spinks, chair of governors at the Moulton school, said the incident was “upsetting for everyone.”

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She added: “I spoke to the headteacher and she said the caretaker discovered the incident on Tuesday morning. The window had been broken and the laptops had been removed.

“Fortunately they were waiting to be commissioned so there was no data on them. They were just about to be installed in the ICT suite to give it that real wow factor. It is very disappointing.”

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Mrs Spinks added: “It really is upsetting for everybody; the staff; the children. We put a lot of time and love into our school. I don’t think we can really believe that someone would steal from our school.”

The chair urged anyone with information about the incident to contact the police.

“I hope people will come forward. Moulton is very tight-knit community so I’m sure that if anybody has seen anything they would come forward.”

Anna Berridge, headteacher of Risby Primary, in Aylmer Close, accused burglars of “stealing from children” after they made off with £8,000 of computer equipment from her school on Saturday evening.

Intruders had smashed through a library window before ransacking a movable cupboard which stored 16 laptops.

That raid followed a similar theft at Rougham Primary, which had £9,000 of machines taken over the Christmas holiday.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the force has worked with Suffolk County Council to ensure that every school in the county has been contacted with crime prevention advice in relation to site security and specifically the security of computing equipment.

She added that as well as offering headteachers individual site survey, schools were being encouraged to ensure that buildings are locked, CCTV and alarms are installed and laptops are secure and marked with UV.

Anyone with information in relation to this incident is asked to contact PC Nick Chapman at the Mildenhall Response team quoting NE/13/83 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Any school with concerns over the security of their premises is asked to contact their local Crime Reduction Officer on 101.

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