POLICE are to carry out routine checks at schools across Renfrewshire during the summer break as they clamp down on mindless vandals who leave council chiefs facing an expensive repair bill.
In previous years, the summer holidays have witnessed a massive increase in the number of vandalism incidents at schools in the Paisley area.
Cops have revealed that, in the most serious incidents, dozens of windows at the same school have been smashed by yobs who are hell-bent on causing destruction.
That leaves Renfrewshire Council having to fork out serious cash for repairs to be carried out – cash that could be put to better use during these difficult economic times.
Police are hoping that, by staging routine checks at schools this summer, they can nip the vandalism problem in the bud.
Over the coming weeks, officers will be checking on schools on a regular basis, with particular attention being paid to those buildings which have been targeted before.
These include schools in Paisley, Renfrew, Johnsone and Erskine.
And, yesterday, officers urged families living near schools to report any suspicious activity.
The appeal comes as the latest Schoolwatch campaign was launched.
Over the years, Schoolwatch – which is a joint initiative involving the police and Renfrewshire Council – has dramatically reduced the number of vandalism incidents.
A police spokesman said officers need members of the public to be their “eyes and ears on the streets.”
He added: “The communities living near schools can help us to protect these buildings.
“If anyone sees or hears the sound of breaking glass, they should let us know.
“Also, if you see anyone causing damage to a building or acting suspiciously in any way, ring your local police office or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
“The sooner you tell us about an incident, the sooner we can be at the scene to check it out.”
For further information about the Schoolwatch initiative, call Paisley Police Office on 0141 532 5900.