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Croftmalloch Primary closed after copper stolen

Croftmalloch Primary School in Whitburn
Image caption Croftmalloch Primary School in Whitburn has been closed

Metal thieves have stolen £6,000 of copper from a primary school in West Lothian.

The metal was taken from the heating and boiler system forcing Croftmalloch Primary School in Whitburn to close.

Pupils are now being re-located to other local schools while repairs take place. Police are appealing for witnesses.

The incident happened sometime between Friday and Monday.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: "Aside from the obvious financial implications, this theft has resulted in the school being closed and means the pupils are currently missing out on their lessons.

"Furthermore, Croftmalloch's kitchen provides meals for other schools, resulting in further disruption to the local community.

"Metal theft is an issue which police take extremely seriously, and is often linked to serious and organised crime."

'Devastating blow'

The council's education spokesman Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: "This is a devastating blow for the school as the pupils prepared for the Easter break.

"It is estimated that the repairs to the school will take around three weeks.

"I would urge anyone who saw anything to contact the police on the new non-emergency number 101 or the charity Crimestoppers.

"Further I would ask local people to report any suspicious activities around schools and community facilities."

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