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Who would steal from toddlers? Dismay as thieves ransack nursery

Exclusive: Appeal after break-in at the Fairfield Nursery in Camden Town

21 September, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Ransacked desks and drawers at the Fairfield Nursery

A POLICE hunt is under way for heartless thieves who ransacked a nursery run by a children’s charity, stealing thousands of pounds of electronic equipment.

Staff were left devastated when they arrived at Fairfield nursery in Camden Town to find toys strewn across the floor and drawers smashed open.

The burglar – or burglars – had searched through drawers of children’s belongings and playthings before making off with a haul of equipment, including a television, computer consoles, laptops, music and speaker system and iPad-style tablets.

Images of the aftermath show how children’s crayons, clothes and mathematical abacuses had been dislodged or left discarded across the floor. A teddy bear was lying on its back while several doors and cabinets were smashed in and hanging off hinges.

Henry Purkis, manager at the Mary Terrace nursery, said: “It is just very sad that anyone would break into a children’s playcentre, and steal from a charity.”

The burglary was discovered by nursery workers on Thursday, with detectives appealing for anybody with information to come forward.

Mr Purkis added: “They broke in through the window and crowbarred open the door. They rummaged through the kids’ toys and left the place ransacked. They bust up the doors. The place was a mess. “We had to close for the day so it disrupted a lot of children, and parents also had to make arrangements for childcare.”

Mr Purkis has appealed for help to businesses in Camden Town with spare equipment that could be donated.

The nursery and after-school club are run by charity PACE, which also runs a playcentre in Fortune Green. PACE (Play Adventures and Community Enrichment) was founded by parents, childcare and play work professionals who came together to start a social enterprise. The charity delivers early years childcare, overnight “short breaks” for children with disabilities and mentoring services for children excluded from school.

Ofsted described the nursery as “good”, saying that children “gain important skills to support their future learning and are well-prepared for the move to school”.

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