Convener pleased at reducing school vandalism cost

ARBROATH councillor Peter Nield, Angus Council’s convener of education, is pleased that the cost of repairing damage caused to school property by vandals is going down, but still feels it is too much.

“£1 would be too much,” he told the Arbroath Herald.

Figures released by Angus Council show that over the last two years the cost to taxpayers to repair vandalism was just over £40,000.

In 2009/10 schools suffered 117 attacks and the repair costs were £23,000.

Last year there were 78 incidents and the cost was £17,844.

Councillor Nield said that these ongoing costs were a drain on resources but was optimistic that the trend was downward.

He continued: “I am pleased that the figures showed a significant reduction last year over the year before and hope the trend will continue.

“We must remember that all the cases of vandalism reported are not necessarily caused by pupils, as some take place over weekends when others are in the school or grounds.

“I feel that children in Angus are taking pride in their surroundings and perhaps this has something to do with the number of new schools that have opened over the last few years. Pupils do take a pride in their surroundings and to have a brand new school is quite something for them.”

He continued: “However, any vandalism is unacceptable and we will continue to do everything we can to limit damage done to our properties and to report incidents which do take place. All our schools have CCTV so we have video surveillance around them.

“Vandalism costs Angus Council, but there is also a cost to society.”

Charlotte Linacre, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: “Vandalism shouldn’t be seen as an acceptable crime. The cost of cleaning up is such an unnecessary drain on resources.

“It is good that this cost looks to be decreasing, but it must be made clear to vandals that their thoughtless damage diverts thousands of pounds away from education.

“Those caught defacing property should be punished and made to clear up the mess to avoid costs where possible.”