Police make arrest over ‘malicious emails’ sent to schools in Leeds and Bradford

It comes two days after a similar email was sent to schools in Manchester and Cheshire

Holly Evans
Thursday 14 September 2023 18:04 BST
230914-leeds Schools ‘On Lockdown’ After Email Threat To Children And Staff-

Police have made an arrest after ‘malicious emails’ were sent to schools in Leeds and Bradford.

It is understood that a number of schools have been impacted, including Sharp Lane Primary School, Windmill Primary School, Ruth Gorse Academy, Clapgate Primary School, Beeston Primary School and Richmond Hill Academy.

Parents were sent messages informing them to be “vigilant” when collecting their children, and that all gates and windows within the school will remain closed throughout the day.

A number of schools were affected, with pupils being kept inside throughout the day though they did not close early.

Have you been affected by this story? Email holly.evans@independent.co.uk

In a post on Facebook, Gildersome Primary School wrote: “Some parents may be aware of a threat that has been made to some Leeds schools this morning. To reassure you, staff are being extra vigilant and we are following our normal safeguarding procedures to ensure the school site is secure.

“If there is any update or changes we will contact all parents and carers. Please do not call School at this time except in an emergency as we need to keep the phone lines clear.”

On Wednesday afternoon, West Yorkshire Police confirmed the arrest but dismissed reports claiming they had said the threats were “credible”.

“Police are aware of an email which has been sent to a number of schools in Leeds and Bradford today,” a spokesperson said.

“The contents of the email are being investigated by police and officers are providing reassurance and safety advice to affected schools.

“Contrary to some reports the force has not issued guidance to schools to ‘lockdown’ and has not stated the threats are credible.

“Officers have commenced an investigation into a potential malicious communications offence and have now made an arrest in connection with the matter. We are aware that schools in other parts of country have received similar malicious emails in recent days.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of an ongoing situation relating to threats made towards a number of schools in Leeds and we are working closely with West Yorkshire Police to monitor the situation and provide support to schools.”

Two days ago, primary schools in Manchester were sent a similar “malicious hoax”, prompting a number of schools to announce a lockdown.

Both Greater Manchester Police and Cheshire Constabulary are investigation, with GMP remarking that it will be providing “assurance” to schools and the public.

Chief Inspector Chris Boyd, of GMP’s City of Manchester Division, said: ”We take reports of this nature very seriously and whilst we have not advised any schools to close, our officers will nevertheless be stepping up their high-visibility presence around schools at the end of the day today to provide reassurance to them and the wider public.”

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