Vandals target school field

St Helens Primary school Headteacher Vivenne Ingleton next to the damaged school fence. Picture By FRANK REID
St Helens Primary school Headteacher Vivenne Ingleton next to the damaged school fence. Picture By FRANK REID

A HEADTEACHER is calling for residents to treat a school field with more respect after being plagued by acts of vandalism.

The green space attached to St Helen’s Primary School, on the Headland, in Hartlepool, is open to everyone in a goodwill gesture from the school.

But headteacher Vivienne Ingleton says it is being abused by dog walkers whose pets leave a mess, as well as teenage drinkers.

School staff regularly find empty spirit bottles when they arrive the following day.

And despite a gate being left open 24 hours a day for people to use, a surrounding fence has come under attack numerous times.

Mrs Ingleton said: “Instead of people using the gate they are breaking through the fence.

“We’ve had dog mess, vodka bottles, it’s ridiculous.

“It is open 24 hours a day.

“It is our goodwill gesture to the community.

“Even with the gate open they are digging under the fence so we wire meshed it and they have just cut through with wire cutters.

“It’s just such a shame that something that has been given to the community is getting abused.”

A fence closer to the school in Durham Street was put up after previous vandal attacks on the school building including broken windows.

Mrs Ingleton said the problems to the outer fence started at Easter and have become a regular occurrence.

She added: “We plan to put an exercise circuit, for the children, inside the inner fence which will cost about £15,000.

“But now we are worried and thinking is it going to get vandalised?

“We are trying to make the school fields more enjoyable for the community.”

The school plans to approach local police over the problems.