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School Watch schemes up and running to prevent vandalism over summer holidays

St Ronan’s College students (left to right) Sinéad Donohoe, Fionnuala McGuinness, Paúric Maginnis, Tiarnan Cawley pictured with Margoe Tierney, Annette Blaney (PCSP), Councillor Máire Cairns, Dr Fionnuala Moore, Aoibheann Harrison and members of the Lurgan Neighbourhood Policing team.

‘School Watch’ areas are being established across the borough in bid to tackle vandalism and criminal damage over the summer holidays.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and the PSNI are working in partnership with local schools on the initiative.

Through a multi-agency approach, the School Watch scheme will operate in a similar fashion to ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ scheme.

As with Neighbourhood Watch, signs are placed in prominent areas around the school highlighting that local residents are ‘keeping watch’ and looking out for their local school.

St Ronan’s College Lurgan, which is an amalgamation of St Mary’s High School, St Paul’s High School and St Michael’s Grammar School have recently signed up to the scheme.

The PCSP is encouraging residents in the vicinity of the schools to keep an eye out for anything unusual or suspicious and, more importantly, to promote the importance of reporting any suspicious activity they notice on school grounds to the PSNI. This will be especially important over the summer months when the school is not being used on a daily basis.

Chair of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Councilor Maire Cairns, commented:  “The ‘School Watch’ campaign is aimed at keeping our school buildings safe and secure and to try and combat crime in and around the school premises.

“I would urge everyone to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour they see to the local police.”

Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity on school premises after hours or during holidays please call 101.

For further information on School Watch, please contact PCSP on 028 3831 2400.

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