17 Apr 2014
Thieves steal solid wood fencing from Hartlepool school
Posted by Super User

St Helen's Primary School in Hartlepool found itself without two sections of its fence one morning thanks to particularly heartless thieves.  

Two 5 foot sections of the solid wooden fencing, worth around £400, were found missing by the school's caretaker while he was carrying out his usual checks one Tuesday morning.  

The fencing was taken from around the school's new nature garden which has a pond and outdoor play equipment where the children learn about wildlife and nature.  To add insult to injury the school's 'Forest School Area', which allowed the children enjoy time outside safely, was less than a year old.  

Carolyn Littler, business manager at St Helen's told the Hartlepool Mail: "The children and the staff are devastated really that someone has come onto the school grounds and stole the fencing, it hasn't even been up a year yet.
"As well as the financial impact on the school having to replace the fence, it also means that until it gets replaced none of the children can go near the area because the fence was there for safety reasons.  We don't want any of them wandering in unsupervised. 

"We were going to buy some other things to put outside but it's made us wary of doing that in case they get stolen as well, and we're also worried that they might come back and take some more of the fence over the school holidays.
"We're really disappointed and really upset that someone could do this to the children."

Money that would have been spent for other educational purposes will now have to be used on replacement fencing in order to make the area safe.
Carolyn Littler explained: "We just want our school and our equipment to be left alone.  The money that we're going to have to spend replacing the fence could have been spent elsewhere.  Schools are strapped for cash these days so we could do without this."

The thieves have flown in the face of the school's aims and values which, listed on the school's website, include kindness, responsibility, enjoyment and opportunity.  

Cleveland Police have confirmed that officers are investigating the crime.