Boredom may be to blame for Abbey College break-ins, says deputy head


Police - Credit: Archant

A DEPUTY headteacher believes “boredom in the community” may be the reason behind a series of break-ins at a Ramsey school.

Abbey College has been targeted by youngsters on an ad-hoc basis over the past seven months. Although some are believed to be students, others are thought to be residents who are nothing to do with the school.

In the latest incident, between 6pm on February 15 and 9am on February 18, the perpetrators broke into the school building through a window and ate some food inside.

Teachers have reported each incident to Cambridgeshire police. However they made a breakthrough in the past couple of weeks when one student, who had been sent to the college’s “Reflection Room” for bad behaviour, said he wanted to wipe the slate clean and confess his involvement.

“We are pleased in one sense that a student wanted to volunteer information and start afresh,” said Andy Christoforou, the deputy headteacher at Abbey College.

“It came out of the blue and it was in one sense bad but, in another sense, very positive.

“From our perspective, although we are disappointed about what’s happened, now the police have got the information on the individuals they can piece the whole thing together.”

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Assemblies have also been held at the Abbey Road school to tell pupils about what has happened and ask them to volunteer any information.

The saddest thing, Mr Christoforou said, is that: “We have got to use public funds to repair broken windows and we would rather use that money for teaching and learning.

“As a community, I’d like to see more investment for young people. There is not much to do in Ramsey for many of them. There must be a sense of boredom in the community for some young people.

“We certainly provide lots of after-school facilities but I am not sure how much there is at the weekend. There must be a reason why they have done this.”

Mr Christoforou said it was difficult for Abbey College to prevent the attacks, as there is public access right up to the school for people using the nearby One Leisure centre. The college has CCTV but cannot film people in public areas.

However the deputy head said he was delighted parents had supported the investigations and co-operated with the school.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “We are investigating reports of a break-in at a school in Abbey Road, Ramsey.

“Offenders broke in to the building through a window and some food was eaten.”

Anyone with any information should call the force on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.