Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands school bomb hoax links to Bristol investigated

Schools Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption Police said schools received the calls between 09:00 GMT and 09:30 on Tuesday. Nearly 4,000 pupils were affected

Bomb hoax calls to schools in Bristol are being investigated to see if there are links to similar calls made in the West Midlands.

Three schools in the Sandwell area were evacuated and lessons halted at a school in Halesowen after the hoax calls were made on Tuesday.

Calls were made to four schools in the Bristol area during the same morning, Avon and Somerset Police said.

West Midlands Police said officers are working to see if the calls are linked.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said the force was "thoroughly investigating" each of the threats, which are being treated as hoax calls.

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Image caption Some parents came to collect their children from Leasowes High School after lessons resumed after the hoax call

Redland High School in Bristol confirmed it evacuated pupils while another school reportedly did the same.

All of the schools opened as normal on Wednesday.

Thousands of children were sent home from the schools in Sandwell while lessons resumed at Leasowes School in Halesowen, angering some parents who had come to collect their children.

One parent, Anthony Mytton, said he did not know how the school and its grounds could have been declared safe in just a couple of hours.

Image caption One parent, Anthony Mytton, questioned why pupils had not been evacuated from Leasowes School

"How can they check everywhere in that time? Other schools were evacuated - why not this one?" he said.

Head teacher Neil Shaw said police did a careful search of the school while students stayed outside the building before being allowed into the sports hall.

"At all times during the day, looking after the safety of students was of paramount importance and I feel that this was achieved," he said.

The evacuated schools, Bristnall Hall Academy, Holly Lodge Foundation High School College of Science and Oldbury Academy, are all in the Sandwell Council area.

Council leader Darren Cooper said the schools had "done the right thing" in evacuating pupils.

He said: "We evacuated the schools on the basis of safety... we erred on the side of caution."

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