UPDATE: Police stay quiet on '˜we will behead your children' claim
Hampshire police are liaising with forces around the country after a string of terrifying bomb threats to schools
An investigation was launched by police yesterday after Whiteley Primary School in Gull Coppice, and Emsworth Primary School in Victoria Road were evacuated due to suspected bomb threats.
The alerts were two of 26 across the country with a threat also made at Kingsham Primary School in Chichester.
Reports from elsewhere in the country say that some of the calls had made threats saying ‘we will behead your children’ and ‘shrapnel will take your children’s heads off’ but Hampshire Police said they would not confirm whether or not beheading threats has been made to schools here.
Sean Woodward, executive leader of Fareham Borough Council said: ‘I think it’s absolutely sickening that there are people out there who could do something like this.
‘I do not think they would have given any thought to the parents and the schoolchildren themselves that got caught up in it all and the emotions they would have been feeling.’ ‘It simply beggars belief’.
Hampshire Police spokesman Ian Sainsbury that the force are looking into whether the incidents at Whiteley Primary and Emsworth Primary were linked to each other and to the incidents elsewhere.
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 at 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 while the police came to check the school.’
The Year 1 pupils at the school were walked to nearby Solent Hotel in Rookery Avenue, Whitelely, during the search. Ms Pennington added: ‘The police have reassured us that is now safe to re-enter 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.’
A statement from Emsworth Primary’s headteacher Katie Fripp on Facebook yesterday read: ‘There has been a security incident at Emsworth Primary School today. The premises are safe and all children and staff are settling down to lunch. ‘Thank you for your co-operation and to the children for being so sensible and staff for their swift action.’
The children were moved to the nearby Glenwood School in Washington Road while police searched the premises.
Mr Sainsbury confirmed that the incidents at the two schools were hoaxes.
He added that a search was carried out at both schools and nothing was found with the pupils returning to lessons shortly afterwards once the police left.