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3rd Jul, 2022

Travellers challenged after breaking into school playing fields

Catherine Thompson 28th Mar, 2019 Updated: 28th Mar, 2019

A CONCERNED headmaster in Stratford is desperate to step up security after travellers tried to break into school fields once again.

Travellers jumped over a fence into King Edward’s VI School fields on Manor Road and unbolted the gate last night (Wednesday).

Luckily the queue of around ten caravans was spotted by a school governor, out on a run, who challenged two men from the group and convinced them to leave.

Headmaster Bennett Carr said it was ‘fortuitous’ that the governor, a former pupil himself, had spotted them when he did.

“It was so fortunate the governor happened to be on a run at that very time and spotted them and was able to deter them.

“Several residents came out to lend support and call the police but it was his actions which prevented them.

“He was absolutely by himself, out on a run in the dark. He was very brave to do that.”

The six foot gate had been installed after travellers set up camp on the land in August.

But the fencing, which is only three feet high, still makes access possible.

The break-ins are among a long list of trespassing and anti-social behaviour incidents at the fields.

Mr Carr added: “We are persistently having trespassers on the site, syringes have been left on pitches in the worse case, dog mess, equipment has been stolen. It’s a real problem.

“There’s been vandalism – someone set fire to the pavilion by putting a bin against the door and setting fire to it.

“We have CCTV at the pavilion but but it doesn’t cover the 17 acre site. It’s difficult.

“These things are happening generally at night time but we have children in the afternoon on site so we want to secure for their safeguarding as well.”

The school is in the process of putting a planning application in to secure the fence further and have set some school funding aside to do so.

The Observer has contacted Warwickshire Police for a comment.

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