TWO men wearing balaclavas tied up a member of catering staff and then forced another to open a safe containing an estimated £5,000 during a robbery at a Northampton school.
Police were called to Abbeyfield School, Mereway – almost opposite the police headquarters at Wootton Hall – at 7.15am yesterday after the robbers confronted two members of staff in the canteen, took the cash and then stole a car from one of the victims to flee the scene.
Headteacher Mark Griffin condemned the robbers for subjecting the two members of staff to a “distressing ordeal”.
He said: “We’re completely shocked that criminals have targeted our school in this way and have put our catering colleagues through such a distressing ordeal.
“However, the response has been brilliant and as a consequence there hasn’t been any disruption to the students’ day and lessons have carried on as usual.
“But that doesn’t detract from the fact that these criminals deliberately targeted a school building used by children as young as 11.
“My staff and I will be doing our utmost to provide reassurance to our students who may be feeling unsettled by these events.
“Our thoughts are with the two members of staff who were affected and we look forward to welcoming them back.”
Despite the school canteen being closed in the morning to allow officers to carry out an investigation it did reopen in time for lunch.
The school’s food service is supplied by Amey catering as part of the PFI contract set up to build the school.
A spokesman for Amey said the two staff had been left “very distressed” by the incident but the company would not be making any comment about the details of the robbery.
The stolen green blue Ford Focus car used by the robbers was found by police yesterday at about 8.30am in Gloucester Avenue where it had been abandoned.
Officers would particularly like to speak to anyone who may have seen the robbers near Abbeyfield School yesterday morning or in Gloucester Avenue when the vehicle was abandoned.
Witnesses to this incident, or anyone with information, can call Northamptonshire Police on 101. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.