A GANG of teenagers has gone on a wrecking spree causing thousands of pounds of damage to schools and community buildings.
Staff and pupils at Canal View Primary in Wester Hailes arrived at the school to find that 17 windows had been smashed.
Teachers had to quickly hoover up the broken glass in their classrooms before the children were able to start their lessons.
Nearby venues Wester Hailes Education Centre, Health Centre and Hailesland Children’s Centre were also targeted in the overnight vandalism spree.
The young vandals are also believed to be responsible for smashing the windows of two Lothian buses which were in the Wester Hailes area.
Police have detained three teenage boys in connection with the incident yesterday morning – however they want to trace a fourth teenage male suspect.
Officers have called for witnesses, or anyone who may have fallen victim to a similar crime, to come forward.
Edinburgh’s education convener, Councillor Paul Godzik, said he was “extremely disappointed” to hear about the vandalism.
He said: “It is not only disruptive, but costs thousands of pounds to rectify, money which could be better spent on children’s education.
“We will continue to work closely with the police, who are currently following a positive line of inquiry, to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice, and to target this kind of mindless, antisocial behaviour.
“I would urge members of the public to report any acts of vandalism of school property they see to the police.”
Inspector Bob Innes, who is leading the inquiry into the incidents, said the amount of damage was “appalling”.
He added: “The damage will cost thousands of pounds to repair and has caused much distress in the community, including the pupils and staff at Canal View Primary School.
“We will be conducting additional patrols in the Wester Hailes area over the next couple of days in response to this activity.
“This behaviour will not be tolerated and we urge anyone who may have seen these incidents occur to come forward.”
The incidents happened just a week after a survey revealed that the EH14 area – which includes Wester Hailes – was the Scottish hotspot for break-ins. Research by Money Supermarket found that EH14 had 32.5 burglary claims per 1000 quotes, closely followed by the EH4 area, which had 30 claims per 1000.
A police source said that high claims were always expected from densely populated areas.
Anyone with information about Sunday night’s incidents should contact Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.