IT’S vital that we all rally around Swindon Children’s Scrapstore, which has been targeted by destructive thieves.

The charity, as many of our readers already know, takes donations of everything from unused paper to carpet tiles and hands them out to schools, colleges and youth groups.

Thanks to Scrapstore, perfectly useful items which would otherwise end up as waste are instead given new leases of life.

Thanks to Scrapstore, countless craft projects, school theatre sets and pieces of art have been created without any need to eat into overstretched budgets.

Now Scrapstore’s van, vital for picking up donations, has been put out of action by a selfish and cynical criminal act.

Not content with stealing a few gallons of fuel, whoever was responsible chose to damage the tank itself. If any of our readers is able to repair the damage or help pay for repairs, we hope they get in touch with the charity as soon as possible.

If the story has a positive side, it is that the number plates were also stolen, which suggests that they’ll be attached to either a stolen vehicle or one used in a crime.

With number plate recognition now a feature of many main roads, we hope it is only a matter of time before the stolen ones pop up somewhere and the criminals tracked down.

Would it be too much to ask that they are dealt with in a way which reflects the sheer nastiness of their act?