17th July 2023
Manchester Schools in Lockdown Following Threatening Emails
The emails that targeted a minimum of 10 schools, resulting in lockdowns, were determined to be unrelated to terrorism.
According to the Manchester Evening News, at least 10 schools in Manchester received malicious threats on Thursday, July 13, which led some of them to go into lockdown. The specific contents of the emails have not been confirmed, but it is known that they were sent to several schools in and around Manchester, including Chorlton and Cheetham Hill. The threats were not related to bomb threats, and the incident is not being treated as terrorism by the police.
Some schools implemented lockdown measures, with one primary school securing its doors and prohibiting visitors. Concerned parents received emails and letters informing them about the incident. One such email, seen by the Manchester Evening News, was sent to parents of a primary school in Wythenshawe, stating that a threat was received via email that morning. The police visited the school and confirmed that everything was safe.
Oswald Road Primary School
Oswald Road Primary School in Chorlton had a police car stationed outside throughout the day, providing reassurance to parents and guardians. A police officer informed them that all children were safe and inside their classrooms. An email sent to parents by the school mentioned a "partial lockdown" but assured them that there was no threat within the building. As the end of the school day approached, children could be seen waving from windows to their parents before leaving normally.
Parents of Oswald Road Primary School received an email stating that the school was in partial lockdown, meaning teaching would continue as usual but no one could enter or exit the building. Another email emphasized that all children were safe and there was no threat inside the school. External doors were locked, and regular school activities were ongoing.
A further email added: "Please note that all children are safe and there is no threat in the building. All external doors have been locked and currently normal school activities are still taking place. We appreciate this is highly concerning, however we would urge parents not to call the office at this point so that we can continue to keep the phone lines clear."
Kenwood Nursery in Chorlton
Kenwood Nursery in Chorlton also sent an email to parents, informing them that the local schools had gone into lockdown due to safety reasons. The nursery followed suit and implemented lockdown measures. Children and staff were kept inside the building, and parents were asked to inform the nursery in advance if they were coming.
Greater Manchester Police
Greater Manchester Police received reports of malicious communications sent to schools across the city and confirmed that they were pursuing several lines of inquiry. However, they did not believe the communications posed a credible threat at the time, and a thorough investigation was underway. Manchester City Council reported that a small number of schools in the city received malicious communications and promptly notified the police.
Detective Inspector Michelle Buchanan emphasized that the reports were being taken very seriously, and multiple lines of inquiry were being pursued. Although the communications were not considered credible threats, the investigation continued diligently. The increased visible police presence was intended to provide reassurance, ensure public safety, and address any community concerns.
There were also reports from London of two schools receiving threatening emails, with one school going into lockdown. However, it remains unknown if these incidents are connected to the ones in Manchester.