Head ‘disappointed’ at vehicle vandals

School minibus badly damaged by thieves.
School minibus badly damaged by thieves.

Two vehicles used by children with learning difficulties have been badly damaged in an attempted theft from a Cotmanhay special school.

The headteacher at Bennerley Fields said that a Rover car – used by students to work on as part of vocational courses – will now have to be scrapped after thieves smashed the window to try to hotwire it.

Debbie Gerring also explained that cash the school is raising to buy a new minibus will now have to be used to replace the other vehicle –a minibus used to take students on trips out.

She said: “For me it’s really disappointing that people can break in to a school they can see is clearly for children with special needs.

“And they can see what the vehicles are used for.

“For them to vandalise the vehicles in their own local community is just really disappointing.”

The caretaker at the Stratford Street school noticed the damage at about 7.45am on Monday and called the police.

The heartless thugs had smashed through the windows of both the car and the minibus and attempted to steal the radios as well as trying to illegally start the engines.

Police said the attempted thefts must have happened between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning.

Ms Gerring said the dashboards of both vans, owned by Derbyshire County Council, were very badly damaged.

The minibus was donated by theVareity Sunshine charity for special needs children, which is written along its side and along the roof.

Councillor for Cotmanhay John Booth, who was at the school on Tuesday to do decorating work, said he was shocked by what he saw.

“It’s really bad because it would have been obvious to them that they were breaking into a special school,” he said.

Anoyone with information is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.