School bomb threats may have been part of '˜global prank'

BOMB threats which were made against five Scottish schools yesterday may be linked to a co-ordinated global prank.

The High School of Glasgow. Picture: Donald MacLeod

Pupils were evacuated from Tynecastle High and the Royal High in Edinburgh yesterday morning after staff received worrying phone calls.

Another threat was made to the city’s Boroughmuir High School, although pupils remained inside while police searched.

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At the same time, two schools in Glasgow – the High School of Glasgow and Hillhead High – received threats, just hours after six schools in Birmingham were also targeted. The Glasgow schools were searched but were not evacuated.

It has been feared a social-media led campaign is sparking copycat calls since 18 schools in England received bomb threats last week.

There have also been reports of similar incidents in France, the US, Australia and Japan.

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Royal High, Tynecastle High evacuated after threats

A Russian Twitter group known as “Evacuators 2K16” has appeared to have claimed responsibility for the hoaxes in recent weeks, telling pupils to contact them if they wanted to “get out of school”.

Police said they were investigating whether the Scottish threats were linked to those in the rest of the UK, while parents said they had heard about the social media craze.

Tynecastle High pupils had to be ushered into Hearts’ stadium, while pupils at the Royal High sought refuge in nearby primary schools while police searched the premises. Officers found nothing and Police Scotland said they believed the calls were “malicious”.

A parent of a pupil at Tynecastle High, who did not wish to be named, said: “I first found out about 11am when my son texted me to say that the whole school had been decamped to the Hearts stadium next door – because of a bomb threat.

“It sounds to me like the school did the right thing but getting the kids out and getting police to check the school.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “[We are] working to investigate who is responsible and whether yesterday’s incidents are linked to similar reports in England last week. Police take hoax calls extremely seriously. They divert police resources and cause disruption.”