Sussex schools evacuated after ‘elaborate’ national bomb hoax

Ringmer Primary School (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160421-101043008
Ringmer Primary School (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160421-101043008

Thousands of children – including pupils from two Sussex primary schools – have been evacuated from buildings after an ‘elaborate’ national bomb hoax

At least 27 schools in a number of counties received phone calls from an unknown person or group claiming there was a bomb in their building.

Two schools in Sussex – Ringmer Primary School in East Sussex and Kingsham Primary School in Chichester – were among those evacuated.

Police say the Sussex schools both received threatening phone calls at around 10am this morning (Monday, May 23).

Detective Superintendent Nick May of Sussex Police said: “The calls were received by the schools just two minutes apart. They show similarities to a number of calls that were received at other schools in the UK back in January.

“These remain under investigation as malicious hoaxes and are not believed to be terrorist-related.

“We are now investigating the two incidents as elaborate hoaxes and are satisfied that there was no credible threat to the schools.”

Police say the incident resembles a similar incident in January, which saw 14 schools evacuated.

A Twitter group is believed to be responsible for the earlier incident.

Elsewhere in the UK bomb alerts in Hampshire led to two schools being evacuated after calls also just after 10am this morning. Calls regarding Whiteley Primary School and a school in Emsworth were both hoaxes, Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed.

One incident in Cambridge led to 240 pupils being evacuated in the middle of an exam for GCSE English, according to reports.

Some commentators have raised the possibility the attacks were designed to disrupt GCSE exams although primary schools were also targeted.

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