Published: 00:01, 09 January 2019
A school has been left with at least £1,000 worth of damage after being targeted by a group of youths on New Year’s Eve.
Staff and pupils returned to West Minster Primary School in Sheerness after the festive break to find the building and the nursery children’s much-loved play equipment had been vandalised.
Martin Walker, who has been the St George’s Avenue school’s site manager for 27 years, said: “They’ve broken a window round the back of the school, they’ve been up on the roof and done some damage to an air conditioning unit and they’ve also smashed one of our CCTV cameras.
"This was at about 3.30pm.
“Then they came back about 5.30pm when it was dark and broke a double-glazed window in a classroom door, on the outside.
"The nursery has got a wooden playhouse that they’ve wrecked too and a plastic storage unit for their outdoor play stuff – that’s broken as well.
“They made no attempt to come into the school, it really was just vandalism.”
Mr Walker said CCTV footage at the school, which asked parents in September to stump up £25 a year to help balance its books, captured four youths on the site. Three were on bikes and the other on foot.
“It will cost £400 just for the camera to be replaced and I’d estimate, probably, £500-£600 for the door and window,” he said.
“So we’re looking at £1,000 worth of damage, at least.”
When asked how it had made him feel, Mr Walker said: “Upset for the children.”
He added: “You could understand it more if someone was trying to break in, but this was just pure vandalism.
“The money has got to be found somewhere, so that means we’re not going to be able to buy things for the children to use.
“It will have a knock-on effect for the whole school. It’s sad.”
Mr Walker said the school’s boundary runs along Bridgewater Road and the CCTV footage shows a number of vehicles driving past that afternoon and evening.
“Someone may well have seen a group of lads standing outside the gate,” he said.
“If anyone has got any information at all, then please let us know. The more help we can get, the better.”
A police spokesman said: “At present no suspects have been identified.”
Anyone with information can call police on 01795 419119, quoting 03-0383, or to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.