BAGPIPES, iPads and laptops were among £23,000 worth of items stolen from city schools over the last year.
Lothian and Borders Police has investigated almost 100 thefts of items reported missing from schools in the Capital over the past 12 months, with £700 designer boots, 100 cartons of milk and bandages among the more unusual items stolen.
Some of the highest value thefts included an £1800 laptop, roof lead with a value of £1500, and four iPads worth more than £1200.
Green education spokeswoman Councillor Melanie Main said: “It is very worrying that such a large number of thefts occur in our schools. Perhaps parents should be made aware that one-third of these were mobile phones. Thefts of prize possessions can be very upsetting, particularly for children.”
Other items stolen from schools between February last year and February 2013 included mobile phones, cameras, iPods, cash, mountain bikes and a Kindle, according to the figures obtained by the Evening News under Freedom of Information legislation.
Rings, purses, postal stamps, a trophy, violin, watch and £200 projector were among the other items snatched, as well as an external hard drive valued at £100, football equipment worth almost £300 and £125 headphones.
Conservative education spokesman Councillor Jason Rust said: “It is a shame if personal items are being stolen in schools and it reinforces the message that pupils should take care to properly secure and look after their possessions, and be vigilant.
“Clearly, new modern technology has attractions for communication and working, but also for thieves.”
The police pointed out that the figures included crimes that took place in the school building, within the grounds, outside the gates, or within the vicinity of the school.
An Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) spokesman said: “Thefts from schools are a persistent problem, with valuable pieces of equipment such as technology being particularly vulnerable.
“This highlights the need for appropriate security measures to protect school property, particularly at vulnerable times such as at night or during school closure periods.
“It is also important that both staff and pupils, as well as parents, are mindful of the risks to both school and personal property that can occur in a busy environment such as a school.”
In August 2011, the Evening News reported that a total of 248 thefts had taken place from schools over the previous 12 months, worth a total of £70,000.
A city council spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately, despite the security measures in place in our schools, on occasion items do go missing. Following any reported theft, schools will work with the police and the Link police officers, who are based in schools, to ensure all relevant security measures are in place to help prevent future issues.”
THE TAKEN TOP 10
ITEMS with a total value of £23,218 were stolen from city schools over the last year. Among the items were...
1. Bagpipes – £250
2. Carton of milk x 100 – £14
3. Bandages – value not listed
4. Designer boots – £700
5. Two pedal go-carts – £700
6. Violin – £200
7. Roof lead – £1500
8. Laptop – £1800
9. iPad x 4 – £1208
10. Trophy – £10