Burglars target Waterside college for fourth time

Immaculate Conception College. (3004PG30)
Immaculate Conception College. (3004PG30)

Detectives are appealing for information following the fourth burglary in two months at Immaculate Conception College on Trench Road.

The latest incident happened some time between 6.00pm on Thursday, 3 May and 1.00am on Friday, May 4 and followed two previous break-ins which prompted the school’s principal, Frankie Orr, to speak out last week.

In the most recent attack on school property, an office was entered by forcing a grille from a window and breaking the window.

A PSNI spokesperson condemned the incident and appealed for help in catching those responsible. However police have emphasised, that while remaining vigilant, members of the public should not attempt to apprehend criminals.

The spokesperson said: “We would ask anyone who lives near a school to support the police by keeping an eye out for anything unusual or suspicious. We would also urge parents to be aware of what their children are up to and where they are when they are not at home. People should not confront possible criminals - that responsibility lies with us - but public information is vital to helping us respond effectively.”

The spokesperson said that targeting the school was diverting money from other areas in the school, adding:

“The impact of criminal damage such as graffiti and broken windows can have a detrimental effect on our local schools causing funding to be spent on repairing the damage instead of being used for extra staff to help the children learn and on much needed school resources, like books and computer equipment. Money is also being constantly diverted from school projects to meet the expense of securing premises with crime prevention measures such as window grilles, alarm systems, security cameras and fences.

“It is disheartening and frustrating to see how mindless acts of vandalism affect a school and, in turn, how this affects the whole community. Neither the schools nor the pupils deserve this treatment and I would urge members of the public to assist police in reducing this type of crime. No-one wants to see teachers and pupils return to a school which has been vandalised.”

Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity on school premises after hours or during holidays can telephone police on 0845 600 8000 or in an emergency dial 999 and ask for the service you require.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information is asked to contact Police in Strand Road on 0845 600 8000. Information can also be passed anonymously to the Independent Charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.