Clarke condemns break-in at Newcastle Autism day-care Centre

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Sunday, May 20th, 2012
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has strongly condemned the break-in and deliberate vandalism at the Autism Initiatives day-care centre at Bryansford Road in Newcastle in the early hours of Friday morning. Burglars went on a wrecking spree breaking windows, as well as damaging the interior of the building and scrawling graffiti on the walls. A Minibus was also stolen as well as money and medication. Clarke, who attended the scene on Friday following the break-in stated: “I wish to strongly condemn the recent break-in and vandalism at the Autism Initiatives day-care centre at the Bryansford Road in Newcastle. It is utterly shameful and deplorable that burglars should target a charity that provides important day-care support to people with special needs in our community. Families have also been deprived of respite care service as well.” He continued, “Autism Initiatives provide very important services to over 20 people with autism and disabilities who were unable to attend their usual day-care centre on Friday as a result of the break-in. Such disruption to users with autism, who rely on this vital service as part of their routine, is very disruptive to say the least. Burglars broke into the building breaking windows, wrecking offices and office equipment as well as stealing money and medication as well as a mini-bus.” “It was particularly distressing that there were staff and people staying in the main Autism Initiatives house whilst the burglars went on their wrecking spree at the rear of the site. From speaking to the PSNI I have been advised that a number of burglaries, which also took place in the early hours of Friday morning, are been investigated for possible links. Police have arrested a man on suspicion of burglary and have recovered the stolen mini-bus in Lurgan, County Armagh.” “I would urge the local community to rally round and assist Autism Initiatives to get re-opened as quickly as possible and would like to commend the staff for their efforts in the clean-up,” he added.
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