Vandals strike at playground

Pock Infants - Gillian Campbell with the damaged shelter
Pock Infants - Gillian Campbell with the damaged shelter

VANDALS have targeted a school playground by breaking glass bottles on the site and damaging a number of facilities.

Pocklington CE Infant School says it has had a problem with broken glass since before the summer holidays.

In an effort to stop it continuing, the school has banned anyone from entering the site out of school hours, at the request of police.

Headteacher Gill Campbell has been helping the school’s caretaker to clean up the glass.

She said: “It is an ongoing problem. It is usually at weekends. It is on the children’s playground.

“What has made it worse is broken green glass bottles on the grass which is causing the most concern because you can’t see it.

“It is most upsetting. They are just small children who it is having an impact on. If they fell on glass we haven’t spotted we could potentially have a serious accident there.

“We had a little bit before the holidays and some during the holidays and it has continued into the new term.

“We have had to say nobody is allowed on the grounds when school isn’t open. Before we had some skateboarders who used it with respect.”

Vandals have also ruined decking on the edge of the school playground by pulling out struts attached to a rail that goes around it.

A storage unit and a shelter where the children can sit down outside have also been damaged.

Mrs Campbell said: “The police are involved. We have reported it before. They are taking a greater interest in it now.

“We have written to all the residents that have any contact or that can see the school to say if they keep an eye out and inform the police if they are doing something they shouldn’t.”

The school is considering putting up a bigger fence around its premises if the vandalism carries on.

“It would be a real shame to have to come to that. They are only little children,” Mrs Campbell said.

Sergeant Pete Rogers, of the Pocklington and Wolds Weighton Neighbourhood Policing Team, says police are taking the matter seriously.

“We have very regularly checked this site whenever we have received calls,” he said.

“Anybody causing criminal damage on site or found with drink on site will be dealt with accordingly.

“It’s very bad when you’ve got the youngest school children in town put at risk by thoughtless and irresponsible behaviour of older people.

“At our request a blanket ban has been enforced since Friday [23 September]. Anyone on the site will be removed from it by our staff. We do take the matter very seriously.

“We appeal to parents of young people living in the area who suspect they frequent the site in the evening to prevent them doing so.”

Sgt Rogers said anyone found causing criminal damage on the site will be arrested and those causing disorder could face an £80 fine.

Parental letters will be sent out if youths are found drinking under age.