TEEN vandals who used a school roof as a smoking and drinking den have smashed 20 five-foot skylights at a primary school during a “wanton” crime spree.
The windows of Prestonfield Primary School, in Peffermill Road, were shattered with tiles ripped off the roof, leading to damage that will cost more than £10,000 to repair.
The school had been hoping to spend thousands it had saved from its budget on improvements and new equipment, but the cash will now go towards fixing the broken windows and crime prevention.
It is thought the vandalism occurred between last Sunday and Monday morning after police received an anonymous phone call to say sounds of shattering glass could be heard.
The vandalism was discovered by janitor David Parry on Monday morning and the windows have since been boarded up.
CID officer Dougie Mogg said the vandalism was a “wanton” act and said officers were following a line of inquiry.
He said: “We’re thinking it is a small group of teens – who are not local to the area – and we have a positive inquiry to follow, but we are still appealing for witnesses.
“A neighbour heard glass being broken between Sunday evening and Monday morning and called up anonymously.
“They might not have left a name because they quite possibly know them [the vandals].
“These are quite large skylights, five foot in length and made of frosted reinforced glass. They have had a good go at smashing them. They have kicked some and hit some with tiles off the roof.
“This is a wanton act of vandalism.
“We think the roof has been used as a drinking and smoking den – the janitor told us it has been used for that purpose.”
Headteacher Fiona Murray said the incident, which has left the nursery, committee room and after-school club room out of use, had left staff and pupils “incredibly sad”.
She said: “I just thought it was incredibly sad because the school works very closely with our local community and it’s very sad for the children, families and staff. The pupils were very shocked and quite upset, and couldn’t really understand why people would want to come and do that.
“In the summer holidays last year there was a lot of damage and around ten years ago I think every window was smashed.
“That time the police managed to find the people responsible and they planted hundreds of crocuses in the school to repay for what they had done.”
She added: “The police are coming in to do a proper crime prevention survey of the school to give us advice on how we can make the building really safe.
“It’s such a beautiful, lovely school and is very well thought of by people locally.”
Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131-311 3131.