Payback for South Shields vandals who ‘wrecked’ gardens at special school
Vandals who “wrecked” gardens at a South Tyneside special needs school could be forced to repair the damage.
Over the Easter Weekend, Bamburgh School in South Shields was hit by a group of nearly 20 youths.
The council-maintained school supports children with a wide range of conditions and learning difficulties.
In the crime spree, vandals damaged key facilities used by pupils – including a trampoline and gardens.
Now, Northumbria Police could give the offenders a chance to put things right.
Sgt Julie Beattie updated councillors on her plans at the East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum last week (Thursday, May 30).
“19 young people decided over the Easter Weekend it would be a good idea to go in and wreck the garden and trampoline area,” she told the meeting.
“It was heartbreaking to see the damage caused.
“From the enquiries my team did speaking to the local residents and obtaining some CCTV, we managed to identify all 19 young people.
“Sadly to report, some are under the age of 10 and all were under the age of 14.
“We had a very good response from the parents who are all on board and we’re going to go back into the school with all the young people and they’re going to perform some work back to that school.”
In practice, she said this could include cleaning the garden and yard area.
In the past, Sgt Beattie has been involved in similar work bringing youth offenders and victims face to face.
This includes an active role in a ‘restorative justice conference’ last year following anti-social behaviour in the Quarry Lane area in South Shields.
The meetings aim to help youth offenders understand the consequences of their actions.
They also allow victims to take an active role in guiding young perpetrators away from reoffending.
Sgt Beattie added: “Yes Bamburgh School has lost a lot of money, the trampoline was worth a lot.
“The good thing is we were getting a number of reports at that school and it has stopped since each one of those has been identified.
“It’s a good result for the school and my team.”
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service