Spalding school bomb hoax call culprits should face punishment says Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner
The county’s police commissioner has called for the people behind a ‘pointless and pathetic’ trio of school bomb hoaxes to face punishment.
Pupils from St John the Baptist and Monkshouse primary schools were sent home on Monday following the calls, while Spalding High School students spent a couple of hours on their field while a search was carried out.
Police were eventually satisfied the calls were ‘malicious and unfounded’ - with parents left angry at whoever caused the distress and disruption for hundreds of children.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “The swift and organised response to the calls by the schools themselves and emergency services deserves praise and I thank everyone involved for the effective way they handled the situation.
“There is no doubt these hoax calls are the pointless and pathetic acts of people who deserve the full punishment allowed by the law.
“I know the force will give this matter their full attention and I support all attempts to bring these criminals to justice.”
A police spokesman said the force continues to investigate the calls and would not be drawn on the potential motivation.
However, they did confirm that a separate bomb scare at Lincoln Castle on Monday was not linked to the Spalding school incidents - and was actually the result of a mix-up over two packages containing promotional material left behind from a weekend event.
It’s not clear if other bomb threats in the last week - at a hotel in Wisbech, at a women’s cricket match in Leicester, a shopping centre in Worcester and an art gallery in Edinburgh - are linked.
A force spokesman said: “We are very grateful for the swift and dedicated efforts from the staff who faced a difficult and potentially alarming situation and dealt with it in an efficient and reassuring way.
“We will continue to investigate the incidents but we are satisfied, following through searches of each premises, that these were hoax threats and pupils were not at risk.”
Police say the pupils’ ‘calm response’ was a credit to them - and staff and children have been praised by head teachers too.
Pupil mentors were on hand to help at St John’s but head Clare Robinson said the children had taken it all in their stride and been ‘brilliant’,
She said: “It was a very unusual situation. However, it’s something that we have prepared for - as a school it’s part of our policies and procedures that we plan for emergencies.
“The children were calm and happy and I am really really proud of how everybody dealt with the situation.”
Monkshouse Primary School head teacher Sue Goodsell said: “Although this was understandably quite an experience for everyone at the school, the staff and pupils both coped really well, and everyone was quickly and efficiently evacuated as a precaution. Everything is now back to normal, and we’d like to thank the police and parents for their support.”
As reported in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press, Spalding High School headmistress Michele Anderson also hailed her students’ ‘remarkable maturity, common sense and good humour’.
Making a hoax bomb threat is a criminal offence under Section 51 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act.
The offence can carry a prison sentence of over a year.
Police say they treat such incidents ‘very seriously’ and vowed to bring malicious callers before the courts to face justice.
At time of press, no arrests have been made and investigations continue.