Lead stolen from school

Midlothian Council has condemned what is believed to have been the first lead thefts from one of its schools in over five years.

Thousands of pounds worth of lead was stolen on October 11 from the roof of St Andrew’s Primary School in Gorebridge.

However, most of the lead was recovered after it was found in a field next to the school.

A spokesman for Midlothian Council, said: “We condemn this theft of lead from one of our primary schools, and would urge anyone with any information to contact Lothian and Borders Police.”

Archie Pacey, chairman of the Gorebridge Community Development Trust was saddened to hear of the theft.

He said: “I’m really sorry about it, as everybody believed it was a well-designed school building and that it would serve the community well.

“But outwith office hours it’s not overlooked by anybody, there are no occupied buildings within hundreds of yards, so it’s an easy target.”

Mr Pacey added that the Brown Building, where the trust is based, has also been the victim of lead theft.

He said: “They don’t care what they steal it from. This is an example of the prevalence of the thefts of metals from all sorts of places.

“As a society, we are not getting on top of this at all.

“It’s very worrying and very expensive. It’s cost us hundreds and hundreds of pounds, in fact thousands.

“It’s dangerous for everybody concerned, including the thieves.

“When it happened at the Brown Building they could have fallen.

“You can’t put up any sort of obstacle to stop thieves that might hurt them.

Mr Pacey believes those buying the lead should be targeted.

He said: “The folk that annoy me the most are those that buy the metal. That’s where it should be sorted.

“People are prepared to break the law to make money, and that is just the disgraceful situation we are in.”

A police spokesman confirmed the incident, adding: “Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for witnesses after several thousand pounds worth of lead was stolen from the roof of a school in Gorebridge.

“The theft happened around 3am on Thursday, October 11, at St Andrew’s Primary School in Gowkshill.

“Anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious in the area or who can assist in identifying those responsible is asked to contact police immediately.”