POLICE will exercise their dogs at a primary school which has been repeatedly targeted by burglars and vandals.

Officers came up with the novel idea after St Helen’s School, Westcliff, was hit on three consecutive weekends.

PC Lisa Wiggins, who is investigating the incidents, said: “On each occasion access was gained via the un-overlooked rear of the school.

“So I have now made arrangements for police dogs to be exercised within the school grounds at weekends. This should make criminals think twice before returning.”

The school was first hit on Sunday, June 12, at about 3pm, when a rear window was broken open and two digital cameras stolen.

The following Sunday – June 19 – vandals entered the school grounds and daubed graffiti on a rear window, at about 9.30pm.

And then on Saturday, June 25, a rear door was smashed causing around £500 damage and a further £150 of damage was caused as the thieves tried to remove an overhead projector without success.

Headteacher Elizabeth Mou-chel is all for the police plan.

She said: “The break-ins have unsettled many of our pupils.

“The thought that people are deliberately causing damage to our school has had to be handled with great sensitivity and we are grateful for the support received from our police liaison officer.

“The damage caused is also annoying as we are having to spend money on repairs when the money could be spent much more effectively on our pupils’ education.

“We now hope that as the police dogs are being trained on our grounds these distressing incidents will not occur again.”

Anyone with information about the break-ins can call PC Wiggins at Southend police station on 0300 3334444.