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Three teenage boys questioned after break-ins at school and church

PUBLISHED: 12:28 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:17 15 October 2020

Toftwood Infant and Junior School headteacher Joanna Pedlow. Picture: Toftwood Junior School

Toftwood Infant and Junior School headteacher Joanna Pedlow. Picture: Toftwood Junior School

Toftwood Junior School

Three boys aged between 11 and 14 are being questioned by police after two separate break-ins at a church and school.

Cowper Congregational Church in DerehamCowper Congregational Church in Dereham

Police are linking the two break-ins that happened in Dereham on Saturday, October 10 at Toftwood Junior School and Cowper Memorial Evangelical Congregational Church.

Vandals broke into the church in Dereham Market Place at around 3.30pm.

The hooded trespassers gained entry by smashing a window and sprayed offensive language and symbols on the walls.

Coral Grout, who has been a deacon at the church for five years, said she was “gobsmacked” at the damage.

She added: “Who would do that to a church?

“The graffiti was all over the walls and toilets and there was broken bricks and brick dust down the sink and toilets.

“We have a very elderly congregation here and it was a big clean up job, we have now boarded up the windows.”

A second break in at Toftwood Junior School took place at 4.30pm.

Three teenagers were captured on CCTV footage breaking into the school after jumping over a fence.

The teenagers then smashed three CCTV cameras and forced open the door of the PE shed, causing around £1,500 worth of damage.

Headteacher Joanna Pedlow said the shed had recently been stocked with new items to ensure each classroom bubble had its own equipment.

He said: “They’ve taken the kit out, thrown it all over the field and left it there to be spoilt. They then took some golf clubs and smashed at least three of our CCTV cameras.

“At the moment, school budgets are so tight with all the extra stuff we’re buying to keep our kids safe in a pandemic.”

A spokesperson for Norfolk police said: “Officers are investigating a break-in at the Cowper Church. Suspect(s) have gained entry by smashing a window and have sprayed offensive language and symbols on the walls.

“Officers have identified three boys aged between 11 and 14, who will be questioned in connection with the incidents.

“Officers are treating this incident as linked to a break-in at the Toftwood Junior School and enquiries are ongoing.”


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