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Police plead for vandalism to stop at Bamber Bridge disabled school

Posted on - 4th December, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Crime, Lancashire Police, Preston News, Schools, South Ribble News
The school continues to be subject to regular vandalism Pic: The Coppice School

A school for disabled children in Bamber Bridge has been subject to vandalism and criminal damage which has cost the school around £17,000.

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The Coppice School is a special school for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

South Ribble police officers visited the educational facility on Wednesday 30 November, and were appalled at the negative impact the damage was having on the children since September.

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In a detailed Facebook post, Sgt Harrison, mentioned that external CCTV cameras have been ripped down and young people have been robbed of from using the school’s hydrotherapy pool which promotes active movement for vulnerable people with physical difficulties.

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Sgt Harrison said: “Yesterday myself and PC Webster visited The Coppice School in Bamber Bridge following a spate of mindless vandalism and criminal damage at that location.

“The visit completely opened our eyes to the impact that this is having on the school children.

“Since September youths have damaged and ripped down the external CCTV cameras and smashed several specialist skylights and blinds over the school’s hydrotherapy pool.

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planning to set up a crowdfunding page in support of the school to replace the CCTV cameras that were torn down
The headteacher is planning to set up a crowdfunding page in support of the school to replace the CCTV cameras that were torn down Pic: South Ribble Police

“Unfortunately, the pool had already been out of action for boiler replacement and on the day it was due to reopen to pupils the damage to the skylights prevented this.

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“The hydrotherapy pool promotes active movement for the most vulnerable of pupils with physical difficulties who need the pool for the chance to move around independently for just a short period of time.

“Understandably, this has caused unnecessary disruption and distress to the children as they were expecting to access the pool.

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From a personal point of view, it was heartbreaking to see these children robbed of the use of the pool – this should not be happening.

“The headteacher, Mrs Seddon, is now planning to set up a crowdfunding page in support of the school to replace the CCTV cameras that were torn down.

“What are we doing? We have raised The Coppice School on our patrol plan for daily visits and patrols around the school.

“We are also reviewing previous CCTV footage from the school/other sources to try to identify the perpetrators and we are hopeful that finger prints at the scene can identify them.

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“A Design Out Crime Officer attended the school and produced a report with recommendations as to how to minimise any damage and make it harder for the perpetrators to commit these crimes, But still they continue.

“Upon speaking with Mrs Seddon she firmly believes that if these children knew what impact the vandalism was having on the children then it would go a long way to preventing any further damage.

“So if we identify these people then an education supervised day at the school may be an option. We will be visiting the local High schools with Mrs Seddon to discuss the issues in assembly where you will have chance to speak to local officer PCSO Rowland if you have any information.

“What do we want from the public? If you live in the area and see or hear any trespassing on the premises then you need to ring us on 999.

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“If you are a parent of one of these children then it may be apparent to you that they are involved. The school has anti-vandal paint on the roof so it would be virtually impossible for them not to get it on their hands or clothes.

“All the school wants is for the damage and vandalism to stop so that the money being spent on repairs can be better utilised on things that would be far more beneficial for the pupils at the school.

“Take this as a warning. We are looking for those people responsible and If the damages continue we will catch up and arrest those responsible.

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“If you suspect your child is involved or you are one of the children responsible and you have a heart and a conscience you can email me ( Sgt Harrison ) on 4065@lancashire.police.uk and I will arrange a supervised day at the school as a way of dealing with the matter in line with Restorative Justice.

“Alternatively if you have any information you can also ring 101 and quote log reference lc-20221130-0224.

“Finally, those responsible risk falling from height into a shallow pool. It only takes someone to bang their head, become unconscious and drown.

“Remember, actions have consequences.”

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