Highcliffe School lockdown: Armed police arrest man and close off Bournemouth school over 'shots fired at workmen'

Dorset Police said armed units were involved in responding to the incident in Christchurch

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The Independent Online

A school has been put on emergency lockdown by armed police in Dorset following reports that a gunman fired shots at school maintenance staff.

Dorset Police told The Independent that a 26-year-old man had been arrested following an incident at Highcliffe School in Christchurch, near Bournemouth.

A spokesperson said the school had been secured with staff and children kept inside while they investigated the incident.

The suspect, who police said was believed to be carrying an air rifle, was apprehended after armed units and at least eight police cars searched the surrounding area.

Nobody has been injured in the incident, police said, while a message on the school's website said that children were "safe". "There is no need for parents or students to be alarmed," it added.

The police spokesperson said: "Police were called to reports that an air weapon had been fired at groundsmen working on fencing surrounding Highcliffe School in Christchurch.

"Police officers, including armed response units, attended and conducted a search of the area.

"A 26-year-old man from Christchurch has been arrested for firearms related offences and is currently assisting police with their enquiries. A number of air pellets were found in the area."

Police said that children were asked to remain inside the school during the incident "as a precautionary measure", adding that the matter "has now been dealt with".