Lead thieves wreak havoc on Hadfield schools

Web tile police
Web tile police

Metal thieves have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to two schools in Hadfield after stripping lead from their roofs.

Offenders targeted St Charles’ Roman Catholic Primary School and St Andrew’s Junior School between 4pm on Friday and 7am on Monday and removed lead flashing from buildings at both sites.

At St Charles’, on The Carriage Drive, classrooms were damaged by water leaking through where the weatherproofing had been taken.

A stone building at St Andrew’s, on Hadfield Road, was also damaged where the lead had been removed.

Steven Williamson, head teacher at St Charles’, said: “We think it happened in the early hours of Sunday morning. Because it was lashing it down, the water came straight through setting off our burglar alarm, as it detected movement, which alerted our caretaker.

“They’ve ripped all the lead off the roof above the secretary’s office and damaged lots of tiles. The rainwater’s damaged the classrooms, the telephone lines were down and a computer was damaged. Obviously, the carpet’s wet through and we’ve had to bin lots of paper work. They’ve made a right mess. We’ve had people in to repair the roof temporarily.

“They’ve caused at least a few thousand pounds worth of damage. It’s just annoying, really. They come and do it and don’t realise the implications and repercussions. Me and the caretaker spent most of Sunday on the roof in the rain putting plastic over the holes. I’ve spoken to the children about what’s happened and they’re not very happy that people have done this to their school.”

PCSO Brian Buller, from Hadfield and Tintwistle Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “These thefts have caused substantial damage to the schools and will take some time to repair. I would urge anyone who might have seen any suspicious activity in the area to come forward, no matter how trivial you think it is.”

Witnesses or anyone with information should call Derbyshire police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.