Suffolk

School laptop raids: 244 machines stolen over 14 months

Laptops worth nearly £90,000 have been stolen in raids on Suffolk schools over the 14 months from January 2012 to March this year, it has been revealed.

A Freedom of Information request revealed 244 laptops were stolen in 25 raids over this period.

The largest number were taken from schools in villages south of Ipswich including East Bergholt, Holbrook and Bentley.

Police have launched an operation codenamed Justine to tackle the issue.

Another cluster of attacks occurred in Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Thieves favoured the midweek for raids, with most occurring on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

DI Nick Power, from Suffolk Police, said: "We will continue to analyse intelligence linked to the incidents and to identify potential suspects."

Secure storage advice

Police are also looking at where how thieves dispose of the machines.

"Our roads policing officers will be deployed to areas around schools as part of their patrol routes and Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be working with schools in their areas," DI Power said.

"We encourage anyone with information on who may be responsible for these crimes to come forward.

"An essential part of the operation involves ensuring that necessary crime prevention advice is provided to schools.

"In liaison with Suffolk County Council, every school in the county has been contacted and given advice on how to store equipment securely and to protect their buildings.

"Each school has also been offered a visit from a Crime Reduction Officer."

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