Schools lockdown after hoax threat to drive car into pupils

Police have confirmed ‘malicious communications’ had been sent to schools across country for the second time in a month


A number of schools in the UK have been put on “lockdown” after being sent an email threatening to “run down and shoot” children in the street.

Police in Devon and Cornwall, where the earliest complaints were made, have confirmed that “malicious communications” were sent to schools “across the country”. Schools in London, Durham, Cambridge, Suffolk and the West Midlands are also understood to have received the email.

Parents have “frantically been arriving at schools to collect their children”, the Daily Express writes, and police forces are working together to investigate who is responsible.

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“Police take hoaxes extremely seriously. They divert police resources and cause disruption and alarm to the public,” a spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Cambridgeshire Police also issued a statement saying that the emails “say that at 3.15pm a car will drive into as many students as possible as they try to leave”.

Sgt Rachel Ward said she was in the process of informing as many schools as possible alerting them to the email and the “likelihood it is a hoax”.

She told the Plymouth Herald: “We understand this may be a national problem and that schools have been receiving spurious emails. We are taking the matter seriously and are delivering messages over the phone and in person to schools.

This is the second time in a month that schools have received hoax threats via email. On 19 March, hundreds of schools in England received a series of hoax bomb threats, causing closures across the country.

Police said more than 400 different schools and colleges had received emails “claiming a device has been planted and demanding cash”, The Guardian reported, while Northumbria Police wrote in a Tweet: “The emails inform the school that a bomb has been placed on the grounds and will be detonated if they don’t hand over cash.”

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