Vandalism to school shocks community

Councillor Stuart Marshall surveys some of the damage to Burnfoot Community School.
Councillor Stuart Marshall surveys some of the damage to Burnfoot Community School.

A series of window-smashing vandal attacks and thefts at a Borders school over the summer holidays have devastated staff, pupils and parents, it has emerged.

Burnfoot Community School in Eildon Road has been subject to a number of mindless acts of vandalism in recent weeks, with 10 windows smashed over the period.

Burnfoot Community School

Burnfoot Community School

CCTV cameras were also damaged and school equipment stolen, with the repair bill estimated to be thousands of pounds.

Police are investigating and the school has also appealed for information on its Facebook page.

A school spokesperson said: “We are devastated at the amount of damage that has been done to our school over the holidays. We have also had equipment stolen from the school and our CCTV cameras vandalised.

“If anyone has any information please contact the police, message us on our Facebook page or come into the school.”

More damage to the windows

More damage to the windows

This summer’s attacks are the third year in succession the school has been targeted by vandals.

Councillor Stuart Marshall, of Hawick and Denholm, expressed his anger at the latest ‘sickening’ incidents.

He added: “The latest round of vandalism to hit our town is quite sickening, to say the least. To learn this week that Burnfoot Community School has suffered yet again at the hands of mindless vandals which have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage is just shocking.

“With education budgets already stretched, then the last thing we need is to add more pressure to it by having to constantly repair vandalised buildings.

“This is the third consecutive year that Burnfoot School has been targeted and I have this week asked the education director and Police Scotland to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to apprehend the individual or individuals responsible.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said a “positive line of inquiry” was being followed in relation to the most recent attack last week.

They added: “Four windows were smashed at Burnfoot Primary School overnight on Thursday to Friday, August 9 and 10.

“Inquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible and officers are following a positive line of inquiry. Anyone with information should contact Hawick Police Station via 101 quoting incident 810 of August 10.”

Councillor Clair Ramage, SNP for Hawick and Denholm, bemoaned the impact the attacks could have on pupils education.

She said: “It is crucial that pupils have a good, inspirational working environment to learn in. I was really angered to see that Burnfoot Community School has been vandalised.

“Since the new headteacher has been in position the school has had various areas upgraded. How frustrating for all the staff to have to deal with this mindless act and it is not a great start to their new school year.

“I understand that the CCTV images are clear so hopefully the culprits can be brought to justice, but it is also important that parents support the school and not allow this behaviour to happen again.”