Criminal Damage

This advice, developed by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC),  is for school and college staff with responsibility for behaviour management, including designated safeguarding leads (DSLs), their deputies, head teachers and senior leadership teams in schools and colleges in England. The PDF, which contains further information, can be downloaded here.

Criminal damage including arson

To destroy or damage property belonging to another either intending to do so or being reckless as to whether damage is caused.

The school of college should be able to deal with most incidents of criminal damage.

What has happened and who is involved? Are there any aggravating factors?

Schools or colleges will need to decide whether to involve the police by establishing:

  • Is the damage of a high value? (What constitutes high value is a professional judgement call for the school)
  • Is there evidence of escalating behaviour? Or previous incidents of a similar nature?
  • Have any threats or violence been used in the course of the damage?
  • What is the impact on the victim?
  • What are the victim’s wishes?
  • Is there a hate element?

Schools or colleges may decide that the presence of aggravating factors requires the police to be involved.

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