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Mile Cross milk snatchers target primary school

PUBLISHED: 10:41 09 November 2011

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Very "cross" Mile Cross Primary school pupils(l to r) Charlie Mather, Jasmin Grimwood, Charlie Ward and Elizabeth Cott who missed out on their school milk after it was stolen from outside the school. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant © 2011 01603 772434

Thieves in Norwich have taken milk from the mouths of more than 100 youngsters after stealing about 40 pints from outside their school.

The drinks – in a mixture of cartons and bottles – were left at the front door of Mile Cross Primary School on Monday at about 3am as part of its regular morning delivery. But by the time staff arrived on site at 7am to take it inside, it had been stolen.

School secretary Jackie Carter said the milk was for the school’s youngest pupils – including those in the nursery school – and would have catered for up to 140 children over two days.

“It would have been quite a bit of milk,” she said. “They left the odd two or three cartons which they either couldn’t carry or which fell off as they tried to get away.”

The cartons and bottles had all been paid for in advance – either as part of the youngest children’s free milk entitlement or by parents. The school was forced to send a member of staff out to a nearby supermarket to replace the drinks so the youngsters did not miss out and the cost will have to come out of its budget.

Headteacher Stuart Allen described the situation as “appalling”. He added: “I’m still in a little bit of shock. What do you say to the children? It’s really quite disturbing and upsetting for them. It’s a very sad time we live in if the milkman can’t leave the children’s milk outside without it being stolen.”

Mile Cross Primary School was built on Brasier Road as part of a private finance initiative (PFI) scheme four years ago.

The headteacher said the milk had always been delivered early in the morning and there had never been a problem before.

Dairy Crest, which delivers the milk, is now set to change the delivery time to ensure it does not arrive before a member of staff is at the school. A spokesman said: “The theft of milk from the doorstep is a crime which damages the livelihood of the milkman as well as inconveniencing customers. We work with the police in any way we can to apprehend the thieves responsible.

“We do try to replace stolen milk. However, we would urge our customers to report any incidents of milk theft from doorsteps to police as soon as possible.”

Norfolk Police confirmed it was investigating the theft and appealed for witnesses to get in touch.

Anyone with information should call the Mile Cross safer neighbourhood team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Do you have a story about a Norwich school? Call reporter Victoria Leggett on 01603 772468 or email victoria.leggett@archant.co.uk

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