Police confirm hoax bomb threats to schools came from overseas

Police have confirmed the bomb threats received by several New Zealand schools yesterday came from overseas.

New Zealand officers worked with international partners to investigate the origin of the calls.

Schools around the country went into lockdown yesterday after they received calls and voice messages that said bombs were planted at the schools.

Today, police said their investigations had not established any actual threat to the schools.

It was up to schools' management to decide how to respond to bomb threats, police said. Staff would make decisions based on the individual circumstance and available information.

Police said ensuring student and teachers remained safe at schools was their top priority and officers would continue to work with schools and the Ministry of Education to respond to the threats.

In February, at least six New Zealand schools were evacuated after receiving recorded messages saying bombs had been planted on campuses.

Local police swept the grounds, but failed to find any evidence of explosive devices.

After further investigation, police said February's scare may have been part of an ongoing international hoax.

Superintendent Chris Scahill said police were aware of similar incidents at schools in the US, the UK and Australia.

Yesterday's threatening pre-recorded message was phoned in to schools in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Gisborne, Palmerston North, Masterton and Christchurch.

Parents rushed to to pick up their kids from the affected schools after they learnt of the threats.

More to come.

- NZ Herald

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