Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Parents' Fury at Secrecy on Intruder

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Parents' Fury at Secrecy on Intruder

Article excerpt

Byline: By Craig Hope

Furious parents staged a protest after it took school chiefs five days to warn them that a hooded man had tried to enter the building.

The group of angry mothers marched into Broadwood Primary School, in Denton Burn, Newcastle, yesterday to demand answers about their children's safety after the security alert last Friday.

As reported in Tuesday's Chronicle, a 52-year-old man has since been arrested and released on bail.

But anxious parents have warned a lack of security at the school could lead to similar incidents.

Rachel Smith's 10-year-old son attends the school. The 31-year-old mother-of-two from Westgate Hill, in Newcastle, said: "This happened on Friday and only now have we received a letter telling us about it.

"The headteacher has said a letter wasn't sent out because he didn't want to create a situation of hysteria but that's exactly what has happened.

"Some parents have even kept their children at home while they waited for news from the school.

"Parents are angry and we want a fence around the school. At the moment anybody can walk in. The whole area is so open and vulnerable. I'm prepared to picket and will organise a petition to get a fence."

In a letter to parents, entitled Stranger Danger, headmaster Marcus Tinsley said: "Following an incident on Friday, the school, council and police have been working together to ensure the absolute safety of our community.

"To reassure parents and guardians, the individual in question, who allegedly followed a parent and later entered the school grounds, has been arrested and awaits charges.

"The individual is now known to police, his place of residence and his whereabouts are being monitored and the police believe that the probability of repeat risk has been minimised through extensive security measures in place. …

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