'ROBUST action’ will be taken against anybody found breaking into schools over the summer holidays, police have warned.

Officers are reminding residents that cases of burglary and damage at schools tend to increase over the long break across East Lancashire.

During the summer period last year, there were 10 school break-ins and 16 cases of damage, compared with none at other times of the year, police said.

Insp Viki Crorken, from the neighbourhood policing team, said this was because burglars knew they were less likely to be seen while staff and pupils were away.

She said the most frequently targeted items were laptops and iPads, and encouraged schools to take the expensive electronic items away with them for the summer.

Insp Crorken said: “Traditionally, offences of burglary and damage have increased around schools and nurseries over the summer holidays across East division “During the extended summer break schools are more vulnerable to opportunist thieves.

“Schools these days also have a lot of technology and some burglars will target them.

“Policing activity around schools is increased during holiday periods and with the support of our local communities we will hopefully prevent these crimes from occurring.”

Police patrols near schools are to be stepped up and residents are also being asked to keep an eye out and report any suspicious activity to them.

Insp Crorken added: “We are asking our communities to remain vigilant during school holidays and contact us should they see any suspicious activity near to local schools.”

Anybody with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.