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The Capital Weekender with Meg McHugh 10pm - 1am
8 February 2016, 19:25 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
The latest on a series of bomb threat hoax calls at schools across Birmingham and the Black Country.
Monday 8th February
Seven schools across Birmingham and the Black Country have been targeted by bomb hoaxes this morning.
West Midlands Police say there was no credibility behind the threats and they are being linked to similar calls made to schools in the region over the last few weeks.
"The details of the latest calls have been relayed to the South West Counter Terrorism Unit which is the national lead for these linked alerts," said Chief Superintendent Matt Ward.
"We will continue to support their on-going, thorough and lengthy investigation.”
Two weeks ago West Midlands Police wrote to all parents – sending out the letters via all seven local councils – providing them with an update and issuing them with advice about what to do and what not to do should their school be subject to one of the current spate of hoaxes.
"The decision about whether to evacuate or not remains with the school on the basis of their individual plans and our advice that these are hoaxes," added Chief Supt Ward.
"We fully support head teachers whatever they decide in this difficult situation."
The schools affected:
Monday 1st February
There have been another six bomb threats to schools across Birmingham and the Black Country this morning.
Again, police think they're false and malicious with no credible threat.
The affected schools were:
Shireland Collegiate Academy, Waterloo Road, Smethwick
Bristnall Hall Academy, Bristnall Hall Lane, Oldbury
Perryfields High School, Oldacre Road, Brandhall
Edgbaston High School for girls, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston
Hall Green Secondary School, Southam Road, Hall Green
None of them were evacuated and staff say lessons are now continuing as normal.
Friday 29th January
A 14-year-old girl's been charged with making a hoax bomb threat to a Black Country school yesterday.
The teenager was arrested ythis morning after a call to Wodesnborough Ormiston Academy in Wednesbury.
A 14-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of a hoax at Great Barr School, has been released on bail.
Meanwhile, people who threaten schools in the West Midlands with bomb hoaxes are being warned they face being jailed for up to seven years.
It's after more than a dozen more schools were evacuated again yesterday (Thursday).
Police are now investigating 11 days of repeated hoaxes.
These pupils from Oldbury Academy, which has been evacuated three times told us it's frustrating:
The former head of the National Counter Terrorism Unit's told Capital police will take the bomb hoax calls very seriously.
Chris Phillips says there'll be long jail terms for the person responsible.
He also wants to reassure people:
Thursday 28th January
A 14-year-old's been arrested on suspicion of a copycat bomb hoax call in Birmingham.
The arrest was made after the call was traced to a phone box. CCTV then identified the teenager as a suspect.
The call at Great Barr School yesterday came after dozens of threats to schools across the region over the last fortnight.
There were 14 this morning alone. Some schools have now been evacuated three times in the last 10 days.
One of them is Ace Academy in Tipton and the headteacher Robin Grover's spoken to Capital:
Police say the threats pose no credible threat and have warned the maximum sentence for bomb hoax calls is seven years in jail.
The affected schools are:
Inspector Noeleen Murrin, from Birmingham Police, said: “These kinds of offences are not only a drain on police, council and school resources but they also waste the time of pupils who should be receiving their education
“We take reports like this very seriously and have acted quickly to identify the person we believe is responsible.”
Wednesday 27th January
Another bomb threat's been made at a Birmingham school.
Police say they don't think today's hoax at Great Barr Comprehensive is like to the two over the last week.
Those calls closed 10 schools and a Russian twitter group has claimed they are responsible.
Tuesday 26th January
For the second time in a week, some schools across Birmingham and the Black Country have been closed because of bomb threats.
Six schools were affected today with Bristnall Hall Academy being the only one who decided to reopen.
Police say there is no credible threat and they believe it is a hoax.
Schools in London and Cornwall also had similar calls.
Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, said: “Police intelligence suggests there is no credible threat behind the calls…they mirror the hoaxes several schools received just a few days ago.
“Local police officers have been sent to the affected schools to carry out checks and to offer reassurance.
“A police investigation is underway to find the person responsible for the calls.”
The affected schools are:
• Oldbury Academy in Pound Road, Oldbury
• Holly Lodge High in Holly Lane, Smethwick
• Bristnall Hall Academy in Bristnall Hall Lane, Oldbury
• George Slater High School in Claypit Lane, West Bromwich
• Earls High School in Furnace Lane, Halesowen
• Four Dwellings Upper School, in Quinton Road West, Quinton
Wednesday 20th January
Four Black Country schools are back open this morning after police say bomb threats yesterday are a hoax.
Officers say the schools made their own decision to evacuate and it wasn't down to police advice.
Tuesday 19th January
Four schools in the Black Country have been closed after getting bomb threat calls this morning.
Students from three in Oldbury and another in Halesowen are said to be safe.
West Midlands Police are investigating who made the calls.