Fuel and equipment taken in bizarre theft at special school near Aylesbury

Pupils and staff at Furze Down School in Winslow were left shocked and bemused after the school was targeted by thieves in a strange incident over the bank holiday weekend.

By Hannah Richardson
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 9:31 am
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2022, 11:18 am

On Tuesday morning, it was discovered that diesel had been syphoned from two minibuses at the special educational needs school, damaging the vehicles and spilling fuel on the ground.

Two industrial-sized containers had also been broken into and two specially adapted adult trikes taken.

CCTV footage confirmed that the incident took place at about 11.50pm on Monday, May 2, and showed two intruders.

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Pupils and staff at Furze Down School clear up the spilt fuel

Bizarrely, the damaged trikes have since been thrown back over the perimeter hedge with a message scribbled on the frame of one, reading: “Do not ride 2 wheels”.

Senior leadership team co-ordinator Sandra Firth said: “It’s just really odd behaviour.

"You’d think if they didn’t want them they’d just dump them – it’s like someone’s got half a conscience or something.”

The minibuses provide specially adapted transport for Furze Down pupils, and having them out of action is a major inconvenience.

A Furze Down pupil with one of the trikes

Sandra explained: “We’re a special educational needs school so all the children here have educational healthcare plans.

“One of our real objectives is to get them out and about in the community. So they, for example, go to the shops and learn to spend money and get their change.

"They do things like work experience, and so we use the minibus to take them to those types of things.

“And then just all sorts of community activities really, just getting them out and about learning life skills.”

The message scrawled on one of the returned trikes

And she added: “Just a simple act like that can have a huge impact on the school community.

"If, for example, our children are going out for one of these curriculum activities, it’s hours of work preparing your risk assessments, checking where we’re going and making sure it’s suitable and all the right things – and suddenly you can’t do it because you can’t get there.

"And then you have to come up with a totally different plan. The impact is significant, it’s not just that you’ve lost your fuel.”

The incident has been reported to the police but no crime reference number has yet been supplied.

Sandra urged anyone with any information to call the police non-emergency number, 101.