|Teen Arrested After Hoax School Bomb Threat|
Grove Park Primary one of schools across country evacuated
A teenager has been arrested in connection with a series of hoax bomb threats which led to over 400 schools across the country being closed including Grove Park Primary in Chiswick.
The 19-year-old was arrested in Watford, Hertfordshire on suspicion of blackmail and making malicious communications via email.
This Monday (19 March) a threat was sent by email to over 24,000 schools and other educational establishments across the country. It was claimed that a bomb had been placed within the school grounds and would be detonated unless $5,000 was paid within three hours.
The message that was sent via email ultimately proved to be a hoax with the National Crime Agency (NCA) saying that there was 'no credible threat'. Grove Park Primary is believed to be the only school in Chiswick which opted for an evacuation.
It is understood that the messages were sent as part of an ongoing dispute among gamers who play Minecraft. They purported to come from VeltPvP a Minecraft multiplayer platform. The objective appears to have been to get the domain suspended.
A spokesperson for VeltPvP said, "We've been being harassed by a group of cybercriminals that are trying to harass us in any way possible.
"We're extremely sorry for anyone who had to deal with this, but just know it's fake."
A Hounslow Council spokesperson said, “Several schools are affected in Hounslow. Initially we thought it was isolated to one school. But there are eight to date in Hounslow that we are aware of. I can’t say if they have all been evacuated.
“We are monitoring the situation very closely, and working with the police and taking our lead from them. Schools have their own protocol in place and it’s up to them how they respond.”
One other school in the borough, in Feltham, also decided to close down.
The police said that it was the schools’ decision to evacuate.
March 22, 2018