Councils count the cost of vandalism in our schools

Vandalism in schools is making big dents in already cash-strapped council budgets, latest figures reveal.

While big city councils bear the brunt of costs with Dundee, Fife and Aberdeen City councils spending an average of £160,000 on damage by vandalism — almost half a million pounds collectively — regional figures seem relatively tame in comparison.

However, East Renfrewshire’s budget was squeezed tighter with school vandalism costing around £24,500 last year, similar to figures for Inverclyde and South Lanarkshire.

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More than £117,000 was spent across west of Scotland councils last year repairing the damage caused by vandals to schools.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed that around £20,000 per week is being shelled out by taxpayers to address the problem across Scotland.

West of Scotland MSP and Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: “Every penny spent on sorting out damage to school buildings is money that could be focused on children’s education.

“Tougher action is required to punish the offenders and ensure they have to pay back the costs they impose on society.”

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Education convener Elaine Green said: “Any unnecessary expense is money being taken away from our children and young people.

“This is money that should be spent on their education.”

A spokeswoman for East Ren Council said: “Any costs associated with vandalism do not affect the amount that Property and Technical Services have to spend on education properties.”