THEFT of lead from Flintshire schools has cost £12,500 in the past year.
Flintshire’s school buildings were plagued by lead thieves in 2011, a report to councillors has revealed.
Police are working to address the problem, and a metal thefts officer has been appointed with no lead thefts at schools in Flintshire reported since the summer.
In the report to councillors, Ian Budd, Flintshire’s director of lifelong learning, said: “Lead thefts amount to just over £12,500 in the current financial year, although none has been reported since the summer holidays.
“At the last meeting of the school security group in November 2012, PC Hazel Goss reported that North Wales Police now has a dedicated metal thefts officer working proactively to reduce this type of crime.”
The report also reveals there was a deliberate fire in this 2012/13 at Ysgol Gronant, costing the local authority £3,410.
However, the arson costs at Flintshire’s schools have fallen dramatically in recent
In 2005-06 the figure was £131,615 and the following year the costs were nearly £90,000. However in this financial year Ysgol Gronant fire is the only deliberate fire in this financial year.
The report also shows a fall in school vandalism costs, with the figure of £5,378 at secondary schools in 2011-12 being a record low.
Mr Budd adds: “The effects of arson and vandalism have a detrimental effect on pupils, staff and the wider community.
“The aim is to minimise the opportunities for occurrences such as these.”
The report includes details of other steps being taken to help limit criminal damage to schools, including a school security group which was created in recent years and a School/Cocoon Watch through Flintshire Neighbourhood Watch.
It also reveals bids have been submitted to the Welsh Government for funding to help obtain new fencing at two schools and a new CCTV system at Ysgol Croes Atti, Flint.
Members of the council’s lifelong learning overview and scrutiny committee are due to discuss the report on Thursday.
A spokesman for Flintshire Council said: “The report sets out a range of strategies used by schools and the local authority to reduce the opportunities for vandalism and arson.
“Ongoing vigilance has seen a real reduction in costs, meaning that more money can go into improving schools.”