A primary school in Edinburgh was evacuated on Thursday after a suspicious item, believed to be an old military device, was discovered on the premises. The bomb squad was called to Bonaly Primary School and safely removed the item. No one was injured and the school resumed normal operations on Friday.
What was the item and how was it found?
- The item was described as a “military antique” by the police, but no further details were given about its nature or origin.
- It was found by a member of staff at the school, who alerted the authorities immediately.
- The school was evacuated as a precaution and the pupils were taken to a nearby community centre.
- The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team arrived at the scene and examined the item. They confirmed that it posed no threat and took it away.
How did the school and the parents react?
- The school issued a statement on its website, informing the parents about the incident and thanking them for their cooperation and understanding.
- The statement also praised the staff and the pupils for their calm and sensible behaviour during the evacuation.
- The parents were relieved that no one was harmed and that the situation was handled professionally and swiftly.
- Some parents expressed their curiosity and concern about the item and how it ended up at the school.
How common are bomb scares in schools?
- Bomb scares in schools are rare but not unheard of. In some cases, they are caused by pranksters, hoaxers or malicious callers who want to disrupt the school or cause panic.
- In other cases, they are triggered by genuine discoveries of suspicious or potentially dangerous items, such as old grenades, fireworks or chemicals.
- Some examples of bomb scares in schools in the UK include:
- In 2019, a school in Kent was evacuated after a pupil brought in a World War II grenade for a history project. The grenade was later found to be inert.
- In 2018, a school in Manchester was evacuated after a staff member found a suspicious package in a locker. The package turned out to be a hoax device made of wires and batteries.
- In 2017, a school in London was evacuated after a pupil brought in a bottle of liquid that he claimed was nitroglycerin. The liquid was later identified as drain cleaner.
What are the legal consequences of bomb scares?
- Bomb scares are serious offences that carry severe penalties in the UK. According to the Crown Prosecution Service, bomb hoaxes are defined as “the communication of false information which purports to be about a bomb or other explosive device”.
- Bomb hoaxes can be prosecuted either under the Criminal Law Act 1977 or under the Malicious Communications Act 1988, depending on the method and intent of communication.
- The maximum sentence for bomb hoaxes under the Criminal Law Act is seven years imprisonment. The maximum sentence for bomb hoaxes under the Malicious Communications Act is two years imprisonment.
- Bomb hoaxes can also be accompanied by other offences such as public nuisance, wasting police time or endangering life.
What will happen next to Bonaly Primary School and the item?
- The investigation into the incident at Bonaly Primary School is ongoing and no further details have been released by the police or the school.
- The item is in the custody of the EOD team and will be analysed further. It may be destroyed or preserved depending on its historical value.
- Bonaly Primary School resumed normal operations on Friday and assured the parents that there is no cause for alarm. The school also said that it will review its security measures and procedures to prevent similar incidents in the future.