Burglars damage centre for adults with learning disabilities

Damage was caused to the ARC centre following a break-in
Damage was caused to the ARC centre following a break-in
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A centre which caters for adults with a learning disability has suffered extensive damage in after it was targeted by burglars.

The ARC Centre, on the outskirts of Bessbrook, Co Armagh, was broken into this week and services at the centre have had to be cancelled as a result of the damage caused.

Issuing a public appeal for information, the Southern Trust said valuable items which were being used for therapy had been taken.

Damage included removal of CCTV, communication cables cut, theft of a lot of valuable items which were being used for therapeutic interventions including electric guitars, drums, amps, IT equipment as well as a safe containing money.

Families were contacted as the service had to be cancelled on Tuesday, August 27 which impacted on their own personal and work commitments as well as disrupting the routine of the adults with a learning disability.

The clients had been writing and recording music for a project for over six months and all this work has been lost due to the theft of an Apple Mac and Ipads.

Noreen McComiskey, Specialist Services Manager, Southern Trust said: “The ARC offers a much valued day opportunity for adults with learning disabilities from the area, giving them the chance to develop their skills and enjoy the social interaction of working together.

“Everyone at The ARC has been very distressed by this incident and the fact that we will have to use public money to repair such unnecessary damage.

“It is extremely frustrating for staff and clients to deal with the aftermath of such destruction. The service has been in operation 10 years without incident and we have received messages of support from the local community which has been appreciated.”