A SPECIAL school has suffered yet another blow at the hands of thieves when a catalytic converter was stolen from a minibus for the third time.
The Gazette reported in December that the catalytic converter was stolen from one of the buses at Meadow High School, Royal Lane, Hillingdon.
It was a repeat incident, with thieves also targeting one of the buses last summer, and meant that some outings, such as essential hydrotherapy sessions, had to be cancelled or rearranged. The school was also facing a bill of more than £2,000 to replace the item, which reduces toxic emissions.
There was what seemed to be a happy ending when staff at Heathrow operator BAA spotted the article and agreed to donate the cash needed for a replacement.
But teachers were left fuming when thieves got into school grounds yet again over the weekend and the theft was repeated.
Pauline Hardy, senior teaching assistant, said: “We’re obviously angry and upset.
“It is just such a shame after all the help we had last time for this to have happened again.”
Staff at the school are now racking their brains for ways of permanently securing the three buses it has. One idea is to install some sort of shed or unit where they can be locked away at night, but this looks financially impossible.
Mrs Hardy said: “It is difficult to know what to do now. At the moment the buses are visible to anyone who walks past and we can’t afford some kind of fortress to keep them out of sight.”
The school does have CCTV and this is now being scoured for clues as to who the thieves may be.
Catalytic converters contain the precious metal platinum and are worth about £250 as scrap. They are being targeted as part of an increasing trend in metal theft around the country.
There has recently been calls for tighter regulations for the industry, which might stop scrapyards from handling stolen goods.
● Do you have any ideas on how to help Meadow High school? Would you be willing to donate towards better security measures? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01895 451 058.