More than 400 schools and colleges around England have received hoax bomb threats, leaving hundreds of schoolchildren forced to evacuate school buildings across the country.
Northumbria Police confirmed that a large number of schools in the region had received an email threatening to detonate a bomb on school grounds if they refused to “hand over cash”.
Fake bomb threats were also received by schools across London, Yorkshire Lincolnshire, Avon and Somerset.
Officers believe that the emails – which they say pose “no viable threat” – originated from the US.
Northumbria Police said in a statement: “We have received reports from a large number of schools in our region that they have received threatening emails.
“Schools have been visited by police to reassure them that the incident is being treated as a hoax and address any concerns.
“We take all incidents of this nature extremely seriously and an investigation into the emails in question are underway.”
In London, teachers in Lambeth, Tolworth and Barkingside described being evacuated after receiving the threat.
Kantor King Solomon High School told parents on Twitter: “There was a national threat made to lots of schools this morning and KKS went into invacutation [sic] to ensure the safety of our site. This was in conjunction with CST and the Metropolitan Police. We have established that there is no further threat and School is now running as normal.”
In a statement, the Met Police said: “Police are investigating reports of communications made to a number of schools across London today, Monday, 19 March.”
No arrests have been made.
Detective Superintendent Tony Cockerill from Humberide Police added: “We have been liaising with our counter terrorism colleagues across the country and it is not believed that the threats are credible.
“We have spoken to all schools who have contacted us, reassured them that there is no need to evacuate and offered them security advice.”