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Shock as brick wall outside preschool is smashed to bits

PUBLISHED: 22:49 13 November 2018 | UPDATED: 22:49 13 November 2018

Dereham Cubs leader Ana Alves. Picture: SUBMITTED BY ANA ALVES.

Dereham Cubs leader Ana Alves. Picture: SUBMITTED BY ANA ALVES.

Archant

Community groups which use a Norfolk preschool and scout hall are reeling after a brick wall just outside the building was destroyed.

Damage to the wall outside the London Road Pre-School in Dereham, where the town's 1st Scouts and other groups also meet. Picture: ANA ALVESDamage to the wall outside the London Road Pre-School in Dereham, where the town's 1st Scouts and other groups also meet. Picture: ANA ALVES

The wall in front of London Road Pre-School in Dereham was smashed to bits shortly after 9pm on Monday, leaving piles of bricks and debris strewn about.

Norfolk police said they were investigating the incident as criminal damage, but a spokesman said they had not yet established how the wall was knocked down.

But Ana Alves, a Cubs leader who was at the hall with her 14-year-old son, Eric, just moments before the damage took place, said they believed it had been done by a hit-and-run driver.

Miss Alves said: “They must have lost control and hit the wall and left the scene without contacting the police.

Damage to the wall outside the London Road Pre-School in Dereham, where the town's 1st Scouts and other groups also meet. Picture: ANA ALVESDamage to the wall outside the London Road Pre-School in Dereham, where the town's 1st Scouts and other groups also meet. Picture: ANA ALVES

“Everyone is quite upset about it, because whoever did it was not even nice enough to take the blame for what they did.

“It was quite lucky in a way, because it happened just after 9pm. My own son used the path near the wall to access the door, so if this happened minutes before some children could have been hurt by it.”

Miss Alves said the preschool, as well as the Scout, Cub and Guide groups that used the hall were all child-centred charities, and they had been working hard to raise enough money to renovate the kitchen, bathroom and windows in the listed building.

She said: “We just had quotes for it done last week - because it’s such an old building it needs a lot of refurbishments.

“So this is just another thing that will cost money to fix.”

Miss Alves said the damage was only discovered when the preschool opened just before 8am on Tuesday.

She urged whoever was behind the incident to hand themselves into police.

She said: “Come forward and be up-front about it, and maybe be more careful. If it was an accident, well, accidents happen, but they should tell the police what they have done.”

The police spokesman said: “We are investigating criminal damage at that location after the wall was knocked down at about 9pm.

There is no suggestion as to how the wall was knocked down.”

Anyone with information about the damage should report it to the police by calling 101.

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