Bomb threats spark evacuations at 14 schools across London, Cornwall and West Midlands

Police said none of the threats were found to be credible and believe they may have been hoaxes

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 26 January 2016 13:10
West Midlands Police say the threats are 'false and malicious'
West Midlands Police say the threats are 'false and malicious'

Thousands of children have been evacuated from least 14 schools across England after a string of bomb threats were made in a suspected hoax.

In London, Ricard’s Lodge High School in Wimbledon and Raynes Park High School were thought to be among four that received calls claiming a “suspicious device” had been left at their premises.

“The schools were evacuated as a precaution while the incidents were looked into,” a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said.

“Searches of the premises have been completed and all the incidents have been stood down.

“The incidents are being treated as malicious communications.”

At around the same time on Tuesday morning, West Midlands Police said calls were made in “quick succession” to six schools in Sandwell, Dudley and Birmingham.

The force said bomb threats were received at around 9am but that intelligence experts have since verified there is “no credible threat”.

The affected schools were the Oldbury Academy in Pound Road, Holly Lodge High, in Smethwick, Bristnall Hall Academy, in Oldbury, George Slater High School, in West Bromwich, Earls High School, in Halesowen and Four Dwellings Upper School, in Quinton.

It followed similar phone threats to four schools in the Black Country last week that saw hundreds of pupils evacuated before police confirmed they were hoaxes.

Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “Police intelligence suggests there is no credible threat behind the calls…they mirror the hoaxes several schools received just a few days ago.

“Local police officers have been sent to the affected schools to carry out checks and to offer reassurance.

“A police investigation is underway to find the person responsible for the calls.”

Four more secondary schools in Cornwall had received calls “suggesting a potential security threat” at around 8am.

Teachers made the decision to evacuate the buildings in Truro, St Ives and Penzance, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

“By 9am, following police attendance and immediate enquiries, there was quickly found to be no threat and no risk to any children or staff,” a spokesperson added.

Police could not confirm whether the threats were from the same source or part of a co-ordinated hoax and inquiries continue.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments