Vandals target Horsham infant school

STAFF at a Horsham infant school say they are ‘scared and worried’ after arsonists set fire to their wheelie bin late Wednesday September 21.

Thursday, 22nd September 2011, 4:00 pm

The attack on Trafalgar Community Infant School, in Victory Road, is the latest vandalism to strike the school in a series of incidents which has cost the school in excess of £1,000.

Vandals have already caused damage to two outside lights and stolen bricks from a pillar which had to be replaced at the cost of £800.

This week, Sally Taylor, business manager at the school, said ‘if this were to continue it would have an impact of the children’s future’.

“At the end of the day, the repairs are something we have to fund, parents and Friends of Trafalgar have to fund. So it has a huge impact especially at a time when budgets are cut,” she said.

Headteacher Lynne Wise told the County Times: “Trafalgar Community Infant School is suffering from repeated vandalism.

“The school is very popular with the local community and parents, governors and staff are all extremely vigilant in trying to protect ‘their’ school.

“The police are involved with supporting and advising the school in restoring justice to this successful and caring school.

“I would like the perpetrators to stop and think about the impact of their actions on the school children.

“There are 270 children on roll are aged between four and seven-years-old. The vandals may have once attended Trafalgar school or know some of the children here. Perhaps the vandals would try and imagine how their actions make our children feel - we know our children will be anxious, sad and disturbed about what is happening.

“We appeal to the vandals to please stop spoiling our environment. The money that has to be used to make repairs to outside lights, a boundary wall and most recently a recycling bin and cladding to an outside store, has to be taken from funding that would otherwise have been spent on children’s learning.”

She added: “We believe the children of Trafalgar deserve a better deal.”

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Between 5pm on Friday September 16 and 7.30am on Tuesday September 20 three security lights were damaged at Trafalgar Community Infant School in Victory Road.

“Yesterday (Wednesday September 21) police and fire crews attended the school after a bin was found to be alight.

“It is thought the bin was set on fire deliberately.

“Damage was also caused to a wall at the school on Tuesday June 20 and security lights have previously been damaged between Friday March 4 and Monday March 7.”

PC Jon Walker, of Horsham Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This damage is very disruptive and costly for the school and we are keen to hear from anyone with information about who may be committing these offences.”

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone suspicious at the school around the time of the incidents or who may have seen two boys aged around 12 and 13-years-old in the area on Wednesday September 21.

One of the boys is believed to have been wearing a blue and white T-shirt and grey shorts. Police say the other was wearing a New York Yankie T-shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial 301 of 20/9 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.