(Image: Leanne Ackerman)
More than 400 schools across the UK have received hoax bomb threats today forcing some to evacuate.
The threats say that a bomb has been placed on school grounds and it will be detonated if demands are not met.
Schools in London, Yorkshire, Humberside, Northumberland, the West Midlands, Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bedfordshire, Manchester and Liverpool have all been sent the threat and there are similar reports elsewhere.
A number of schools in London have been evacuated while Northumbria Police confirmed a large number had also received threats – but were not evacuated.
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The threats – not being treated as genuine – are believed to have come from the United States and have been sent across the UK.
The threat email is believed to read: “This is a message to everyone. We have sent in a student with a bomb. The bomb is set to go off in 3 hours time. If you do sent $5,000 USD to payments@
“If you do not send the money! We will blow up the device. Our site has all the information needed
“If you try to call the cops we WILL blowup the device on the SPOT! ANY attempt at defusing it your self will cause it to explode.”
It is then followed by Arabic writing.
Students at Bristol Free School were reportedly met by police officers at the gates this morning and searched.
One student told the Bristol Post: “We are in the middle of a lockdown. We haven’t been told told anything by the teachers or police, but they are searching our bags.
“All of the other year groups are affected
“We were told there were a number of incidents in Bristol this morning.
“I spoke to my father who rang the police and my dad told me many schools across the country have received several threats.
“The police are currently searching our bags and persons for unknown items.
“We have been told not to leave the class rooms, and have been told very little.
“We are scared and confused and have no idea what is going on.”
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary school in Tolworth was evacuated.
Cardinal Road School in Feltham, west London has also been evacuated as a precaution.
La Retraite School in Lambeth was also evacuated with students reportedly sent home afterwards.
Thurston Community College in Suffolk has reportedly been evacuated.
Eight schools in Hounslow have been affected. A council spokesman said: “Several schools are affected in Hounslow.
“Initially we thought it was isolated to one school. But there are eight to date in Hounslow that we are aware of. I can’t say if they have all been evacuated.
“We are monitoring the situation very closely, and working with the police and taking our lead from them.
“Schools have their own protocol in place and its up to them how they respond.”
At 11.10am the Metropolitan Police tweeted: “Police are investigating reports of communications made to a number of schools across London today, Monday, 19 March.
“There have been no arrests. Enquiries are ongoing.”
North Yorkshire Police have branded the threats a “hoax”.
More than 350 schools are shut today due to the severe weather over the weekend.
How is your area affected?
London: Met Police have said they are investigating the reports and eight schools in Hounslow have been evacuated. The force have stressed, however, that a decision to evacuate is down to the school and not police.
An Ealing Council spokesman said: “We know that schools have received a letter. They are aware of it and will be vigilant.
“Police will visit each school that has reported receiving a threat. Schools remain open at this time.”
Manor Park Primary School in Sutton was evacuated.
(Image: London News Pictures Ltd)
Liverpool: St Cuthbert’s primary in Old Swan was evacuated this morning, reports the Liverpool Echo. As was St Sebastian’s Catholic Primary School, which is close to Edge Lane.
St Cuthbert’s texted parents saying they had evacuated the school this morning but children can return this afternoon.
The school says 10 other Liverpool schools were also caught up in the hoax. Merseyside Police have said they are investigating.
A council spokesperson said: “We have been liaising with Merseyside Police over this suspicious email and have passed on their advice to schools, which is to treat it as a hoax.”
Manchester: There is no figure for schools affected in Greater Mancehster but Assistant Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine, said: “I understand that parents and the general public will be very concerned and I want to assure you that we are working closely with all of the schools to ensure the safety of pupils and staff.
“We are carrying out extensive enquiries to understand the full circumstances and although there is not currently believed to be any direct threat, as with any report of this nature, they are all being thoroughly investigated.
“This is an ongoing incident and we will provide updates as soon as we can.”
Three primary schools in Oldham received threats.
Mills Hill Primary School in Chadderton, Blackshaw Lane Primary and Nursery School in Royton and Delph Primary School in Delph received the emails, a council spokesman confirmed.
The primaries are all open as normal today.
Rochdale Council have confirmed threats were made to a number of schools in their area.
Yorkshire: A statement from North Yorkshire Police said: “We have had a number of reports this morning about a bomb hoax at many of our schools across the county.
“This is believed to be a national issue.
“Our Cybercrime Unit Detectives, supported by local officers, have looked at these incidents and it is not believed there is any genuine threat. We are working with schools to offer reassurance and address any concerns.”
Humberside: 20 schools have been in touch with Humberside Police to say they have been sent the email, four of them in Hull.
Det Supt Tony Cockerill said: “We have been liaising with our counter terrorism colleagues across the country and it is not believed that the threats are credible.
“We have spoken to all schools who have contacted us, reassured them that there is no need to evacuate and offered them security advice.”
Northumberland: At least 35 schools in Northumberland have been affected by the threats but they have not been evacuated.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Detectives have looked into the emails, which appear to originate from the US, and can confirm there is no viable threat.
“Schools have been visited by police to reassure them that the incident is being treated as a hoax and address any concerns.”
They are also investigating.
Lincolnshire: Lincolnshire Police say nine schools in the county received fake bomb threats.
West Midlands: Walsall College has been evacuated following a bomb threat. All staff and students have been ordered to leave their campuses.
Bristol: Pupils are Bristol Free School were reportedly met at the school gates by police officers and some had their bags searched. Bristol City Council are looking into the matter.
Surrey: Green Lane Primary School at Worcester Park in Surrey has been evacuated due to the threat email.
Bedfordshire: Fairfield Park Lower School in Hitchin was evacuated.
Gloucestershire: A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “We have received a number of reports of schools receiving emailed bomb threats today.
“This appears to be part of a national hoax and our colleagues in other forces are receiving similar reports.
“We are confident that it is a hoax, and not a genuine threat to life.
“Our advice is not to panic but remain vigilant and carry on with business as usual, report any incidents to police and keep anything which could be used as evidence in the future.”
Cambridgeshire: There is no figure on how many schools received the threatening email.
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: “The email has been received by a number of schools in the county but no evacuations.
“We have advised all schools in the county that this is a hoax.”
Hertfordshire: Six schools in the region received the threats: Abbots Hill in Hemel Hempstead, Valley School in Stevenage, Sele School in Hertford, Duncombe School in Hertford, Stanborough School in Watford and St Albans High School.