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Anger as mental health centre raided by thieves

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 10, 2014

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A MENTAL health centre in Swadlincote was forced to shut for a day after thieves broke in and stole cash and a laptop.

South Derbyshire Mental Health Centre’s Bank House, in Sharpes Bros Industrial Estate, off Alexandra Road, Swadlincote, is now hundreds of pounds out of pocket and will be forced to spend more of its funding on improving security.

Jean Blackman, chairman of the trustees at Bank House, said its 200 members have been left angry at the burglary which happened after thieves smashed the centre’s first floor window sometime between 3pm on Saturday and 9am yesterday.

She said: “It was originally seen by two members of staff when they opened up for the day. There was broken glass and it was clear that things had been moved around. It was just the office they searched as the other rooms were locked.

”I always go round and spend the morning as a volunteer and I went down there on Monday to find members waiting outside and there was a notice saying ‘broken glass’ on the door.

”The office manager poked his head out of the window and said SOCO (Scenes of Crime Officers) were inside. He led me upstairs and told me what happened.

”There wasn’t much I could do, but we made a few organisational suggestions and closed Bank House (for the day).

”I don’t now the exact amount stolen but it wasn’t in the thousands of pounds but the break-in has made our members very angry. They rely on the centre and value it.

”Obviously this will have an impact on us as we will have to make the building more secure but I understand that this is the first break-in in this complex. There are people about most of the time.”

While the centre’s core funding comes from local health groups and social services, it also relies on charitable donations for activities.

A Derbyshire police spokesman said the incident was reported at 9.05am yesterday and happened sometime between 3pm on Saturday and 9am yesterday. Thieves got in through a first floor window and stole cash and a laptop.

Anyone with information is asked to call Derbyshire police on 101.

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