Alnwick schools on lock down after 'hoax' phone call

A police car at Alnwick's Lindisfarne Middle School. Picture by Jane Coltman.
A police car at Alnwick's Lindisfarne Middle School. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Schools in Alnwick were put on lock down today after a school received an alarming phone call.

Police were alerted after a 'call of concern' was received by Lindisfarne Middle School this morning. However, following investigations, the call has been treated as a hoax.

Police cars at Alnwick Police Station. Picture by Jane Coltman

Police cars at Alnwick Police Station. Picture by Jane Coltman

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: "A telephone call of concern was received by Lindisfarne School this morning. The school immediately alerted police who are at the school. Inquiries at this time have established that there is no cause for concern and the call is being treated as a hoax. The school is updating parents and carers of pupils attending the school. Police take hoaxes extremely seriously. They divert police resources and cause disruption and alarm to the public."

Police added that the school had not been evacuated and parents were not being asked to come and collect their children. A police spokeswoman added that she could not confirm the nature of the call because it could lead to copy-cat calls. The Gazette contacted the school for a statement, but it didn't wish to comment at this time.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: "There was a situation this morning where a hoax call was made to Lindisfarne Middle School. The police were immediately informed and we followed local-authority procedures to ensure the school was secured accordingly. Police inquiries have established that there is no cause for concern and the call is being treated as a hoax. The school was not evacuated and all pupils and staff are safe. The safety and welfare of pupils at all of our schools is paramount."

Swansfield Park First School told the Gazette that a lock down was put on at the site straight away and lasted for about 40 minutes, while St Michael's C of E First School was ordered by police to keep its children inside, before being given the all-clear a short time later.

A spokeswoman for the St Paul's Federation of Schools said that it was business as usual, while a statement from the Duke's Middle School said that the school had followed police and county-council procedure, adding all the children were safe and there was no cause for concern.

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101 quoting reference 376 23/05/16 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.