Alarm system at Portchester library overhauled after break in

Repairs are carried out at Porchester Library after the break-in   Picture: Jason Kay
Repairs are carried out at Porchester Library after the break-in Picture: Jason Kay
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SECURITY systems are being reviewed at a library after it was broken into and its computers stolen.

The library in West Street, Portchester, was targeted by thieves overnight on Tuesday, December 1, from 8.30pm, with the damage being discovered at 6.45am the next day.

The raiders smashed their way in through glass at the front of the building after taking a crowbar to the front door.

Once inside they unsuccessfully attempted to break into a vending machine, before stealing several computer hard drives, totalling £1,000.

But a regular library user, who did not want to be named, claimed the burglar alarm did not sound as it had not been set properly – although the council maintains its staff followed correct security procedures.

This followed the library being served with a noise abatement notice by Fareham Borough Council in 2002, after its alarms would ring throughout Sunday afternoon, causing disturbance to nearby residents.

A spokesperson from Fareham Borough Council confirmed the authority did serve a notice, but said this was meant to prompt action from Hampshire County Council, which owns the library, to rectify the fault.

However, a spokesperson for Hampshire County Council would not confirm if the alarm was set, but promised that security systems were being overhauled.

They said: ‘We don’t discuss the security details at our properties because of the risk that such information may lead to further break-ins or vandalism.

‘But we will review our security arrangements at Portchester library in light of the recent break-in.

‘The value of the stolen 
goods is approximately £1,000 in total.

‘We are pleased to advise that the library is now fully open and staff are working hard to ensure that there is no further impact on our customers.’

A police spokesman said that no arrests had yet been made but the investigation was still on going. They urged anybody with information to call police on 101, quoting reference 441504718234.

A council spokesperson added that staff at Portchester Library had followed all security procedures and were not at fault in any way.