Cash-strapped north-east council spends £67,000 on repairing vandalism

Vandals have cost a cash-strapped council more than £67,000 in the last two years – with almost 40% of the bill going to damaged schools.

New figures reveal there were 207 incidents in the region, with 58 of them taking place in schools.

The total cost of the repairs to the authority was £67,617 and within that, the damage to schools amounted to £26,330.

Vandals cause more than £10,000 of damage at Fraserburgh Academy

This current bill does not include the most recent vandal attack at Fraserburgh Academy, where the windows were smashed over the holidays causing around £10,000 of damage.

In total there have been 1,043 incidents since 2014-15, costing the authority a whopping £255,674.


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Police have branded the offences “completely unacceptable” and have warned they will come down hard on anyone caught committing these types of crimes.

Meanwhile, North East MSP Peter Chapman said the culprits should “hang their heads in shame”.

Peter Chapman MSP.

He said: “Taxpayers are paying out many thousands of pounds every year just to keep public buildings clean of graffiti and other vandalism.

“Aberdeenshire cannot afford to do this any longer.”

Mr Chapman said the crimes heaped further pressure on the authority which was already having to make “hard choices” in a tough economic climate.

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“So it’s a real shame when we think of what else that money could be paying for.

“The individuals are also committing crimes and should hang their heads in shame,” he added.

Chief Inspector Stewart Drummond, area commander for South Aberdeenshire, said: “Vandalism of any kind is completely unacceptable and malicious damage to schools is not only costly for the authorities to repair but often has an impact on those who use the school daily as well as the wider community.

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“Our message remains the same – this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and all incidents reported to us will be thoroughly investigated and where criminality is established those found responsible will be reported to the relevant authority, whether that is the youth justice management unit or the procurator fiscal.”

Aberdeenshire Council has also urged anyone who has information relating to vandalism to report it to the authorities.

A spokeswoman said: “Vandalism is never a victimless crime. It is unfortunate that council tax payers’ money has to be spent on repairing instances of vandalism at schools and other council properties.”

 

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