UPDATE: Hampshire pupils evacuated in nationwide bomb threats to schools
Two Hampshire schools were evacuated this morning after bomb threats.
AN investigation has been launched by police after two schools were evacuated this morning due to suspect bomb threats. Whiteley Primary School and Emsworth Primary both reported similar bomb alerts to the police at 10.06am and 10.03am respectively today. Police are linking the two and have launched an investigation.
It comes as bomb hoaxes have been reported at schools in Peterborough, Cambridge and Runcorn.
Staff at Whiteley Primary, in Gull Coppice, have since confirmed that the threat was a hoax and police have confirmed that the threat at Emsworth Primary, in Victoria Road, was also a hoax. Ian Sainsbury, spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary say they are looking into whether the two incidents at the Hampshire schools are linked and also if they are also linked to the other incidents across the country. He said: ‘It is thought to be a malicious call in both cases that prompted the incidents and that is now being investigated.’
Lesley Pennington, headteacher of Whiteley Primary said: ‘Earlier this morning the school was subject to a bomb threat which the police have assured us is a hoax.
‘As a precaution, all children were evacuated from the building whilst the police came to sweep and check the school.’
The year one pupils at the school walked to the nearby Solent Hotel in Rookery Avenue during the search.
Ms Pennington added: ‘The police have reassured us that it is now safe to re-tenter the building and we are in communications with the county emergency planning team.
‘We understand that you may be concerned, but rest assured, our emergency planning procedures worked effectively and the children were fantastic with their behaviour and attitude.
Mr Sainsbury added: ‘We received a call at 10.06am from Whiteley Primary that there was a suspect bomb alert at the premises. ‘A search was carried out, nothing was found and children went back in around 11.30 to lessons. Officers are no longer at the scene.’
In relation to the Emsworth Primary alert, they said: “We received a call at 10.03am of a suspected bomb alert at the school. The school was evacuated and it was confirmed the alert was a hoax. Pupils returned to the school at about 11.30am after officers left the scene.’
Picture shows police at Whiteley Primary School