Residents praised

Headteacher Barbara Wilkin (left) and caretaker Margaret Gray pictured opposite the fire-damaged Wendy house at Horden Nursery in February
Headteacher Barbara Wilkin (left) and caretaker Margaret Gray pictured opposite the fire-damaged Wendy house at Horden Nursery in February

POLICE will send out leaflets to residents encouraging them to report any suspicious incidents around schools over the forthcoming half-term break.

The move comes after Peterlee Police praised residents after there were no reports of trouble around east Durham schools in the Easter holiday.

This was an improvement on the February half-term holiday when there were a number of incidents relating to schools.

One was an arson attack on a Wendy house at Cotsford Nursery School, in Horden, as reported in the Mail, and another was a report of criminal damage to an outbuilding at Hutton Henry Primary School.

But officers are keen to praise residents after the most recent school break saw no reports of trouble.

PC Joanne Godber, Peterlee Police beat officer for Wingate, Station Town, Trimdon Station and Hutton Henry, said: “During the February school holidays crimes occurred at a couple of schools in our area.

“Due to this, local Police Community Support Officers were tasked with putting out leaflets to all houses overlooking all schools in the Peterlee division area prior to the Easter school Holidays.

“These leaflets asked for local residents to be more vigilant throughout the school holidays and also gave the Durham Police number to phone if they witnessed anything untoward.

“I’m pleased to say that throughout the Easter school holidays there were no crimes recorded at any of the schools within the Peterlee sector division and wish to thank local residents for their vigilance and hope that they will continue to be so during the next period of school holidays we have at the end of the month.”

PC Godber said the force will be putting leaflets out again and are hoping for a similar success.

The Mail reported in February how Cotsford Nursery School caretaker Margaret Gray was shocked to find the Wendy house in flames when she arrived at work.

She quickly grabbed some buckets of water and put out the fire, but the play house was destroyed

Anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity around east Durham schools is asked to call Peterlee Police on 0345 6060365.