Political and community representatives have hit out after a major new scheme in Ballyclare was vandalised within days of being completed.
An improvement scheme was recently carried out at the Doagh Road entrance to Ballyclare Secondary School, with the finishing touches being made in time for the awards night on October 27.
However, within hours of the alterations being made, lettering at the school gates was defaced and removed.
Commenting on the incident, a spokesperson for Ballyclare and District Policing and Community Forum said: “It is disgraceful that this has happened. A lot of money has been spent on the school and it is a real shame that this has happened so soon after the scheme was completed.
“The school is for everyone, with pupils taking pride in their school. It is a disgrace that this has been vandalised. We would urge anyone with information about this incident to contact the police.”
Cllr David Arthurs has branded the incident “disgraceful”. The UUP representative said: “It is great to see the school and Education Authority investing this money into the school, but it is a disgrace that this anti-social incident has occurred only hours after the work was completed.
“Parents need to be aware of where their children are at night, who they are with and what they are doing. I’m sure whoever carried out this act of vandalism has some link to the school whether they are a current pupil, a past pupil or have a family member at the school.
“Everyone is trying to make the image of the town look better and incidents like this do not help.”
Progressive Unionist Party representative Scott McDowell has called on the police to find the resources to deal with anti-social behaviour in the town. Speaking to the Times, he said: “This is an absolute disgrace. There was a lot of money spent and the entrance looked fantastic.
“Lovely big letters were put up reading Ballyclare Secondary School and someone has forcibly removed some of the lettering. These young people will end up with a criminal record if caught and their lives will be ruined before they have even begun. I would urge the police to find the resources to make sure Ballyclare is well policed, especially in the evenings when these things seem to always take place.
“I again urge parents to please know where your children are and what they are doing. This type of behaviour cannot be tolerated and we’ll be doing all we can to make sure this is stamped out.”