Plea To Community Over School Attacks

Detectives are quizzing a man in connection with three suspected arson attacks at primary schools in the Flint area. St Mary’s Catholic Primary School was targeted on Tuesday night – the third attack in two weeks on Flint schools.

Ysgol Gwynedd was targeted twice in five days last week, with tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage caused. Civic leaders called for something to be done immediately before someone is be seriously injured or killed.

And police said last night that an 18-year-old local man had been arrested in connection with the three incidents. The man is currently in police custody at Mold Police Station, awaiting questioning by detectives later today.

However, police are still appealing for anyone with information about the incidents to come forward. Det Insp Jeremy Vaughan, of Mold CID, said: “We would ask the community to be vigilant and help us by passing on any information they have and by reporting any suspicious activity immediately.”

Forensic experts were at St Mary’s School on Wednesday to determine the exact cause of the blaze, although signs of forced entry point to deliberate ignition and books for the nursery’s reading store were deliberately set alight.

The most serious damage has affected a corridor and the Busy Bees Nursery. The nursery will be out of action for at least a week while repairs are carried out.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they are worried as the incidents appear to be getting more serious each time.

County safety manager for Flintshire Kevin Roberts said: “School fires can destroy much needed resources which help the development of our children. Luckily these fires have been outside school hours. The consequences of a fire while children are attending the school could be devastating.

“Deliberate fire starters are destroying their communities, this is why we must work together to stamp it out and make the perpetrators realise the consequences of their actions.”

A spokesman for Flintshire Council added: “St Mary’s School, Flint, will re-open to most pupils on Monday, February 26, following the arson attack. However, it will be closed on Monday to Year 1 and 2 pupils of classes four and five. These classes will reopen on Tuesday. The Breakfast Club will not be in operation next week nor will the Busy Bees Nursery. At this stage we cannot confirm when these facilities will recommence. Parents should contact the school next week for further information.”