£5000 worth of iPads stolen from Edinburgh high schools

File picture: Ian Rutherford

File picture: Ian Rutherford

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MORE than £5000 worth of iPad minis have been stolen from city high schools in the past two years.

Laptops costing four-figure sums were also stolen from primary and secondary schools across the Capital, putting additional pressure on struggling education budgets.

Bus tickets totalling £762 were nabbed from primary schools, while £854 in cash was reported missing.

The most expensive single item taken was a Bretford laptop charging cabinet, valued at £1500.

In total, tens of thousands of pounds worth of equipment has been stolen – including 25 iPad minis.

Many schools which have been the victims of break-ins and thefts have had to be reimbursed from the city council’s central budget because they have not been able to replace the equipment from their own individual funds.

The figures were released by the city council under freedom of information legislation.

Scottish Conservative young people spokeswoman Liz Smith said: “It is shocking that pupils and staff are being exposed to so many thefts in our schools, especially when it comes to expensive equipment such as computers, tablets and laptops which are an essential aid to lessons.

“It is also disappointing to see that many personal items have been stolen. Parents send their children to school to learn and not be the victims of crime.

“Local authorities should be stepping up security measures, so our young people and teachers are safe and are not 
having to put up with these types of crimes which have sadly become an everyday part of school life.”

Council bosses described school thefts as “disheartening” and damaging to school budgets.

A city council spokesman said: “The use of IT equipment such as laptops and iPads is now part of everyday school life so it’s very disheartening when criminals to steal these items.

“They are invaluable to our children’s learning and development and also impact on schools’ budgets.”

The Evening News revealed last year that Clermiston Primary was targeted by thieves who made off with around £1000 of computer equipment and cash after breaking into the school.

Last February, thieves forced entry into Lorne Primary, just off Leith Walk, and got away with several laptops and a small amount of cash.

They also caused minor damage during the incident, which was said to have “upset” pupils.

Police closed off part of the playground to allow forensic investigations to be carried out.

And pupils at Forthview Primary in West Pilton were devastated when their storage shed was broken into.

Bikes borrowed to help teach pupils cycling proficiency were stolen, leaving the school desperate to raise £1000 to replace them. Footballs and gardening equipment were also taken from the shed.

newsen@edinburghnews.com