LONDON — More than 14 schools in the U.K. were evacuated on Tuesday following anonymous phone calls claiming that bombs had been left on the premises.
The calls were made in quick succession to schools in the British towns of Sandwell and Dudley and the city of Birmingham. Following evacuations and police searches, it was confirmed that no suspicious item was found in any of the alerted schools.
“The schools were evacuated as a precaution while the incidents were looked into,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said. “Searches of the premises have been completed and all the incidents have been stood down. The incidents are being treated as malicious communications.”
On the same day, five high schools in Paris received identical threatening phone calls and were consequently evacuated. Bomb squads carried out investigations and no suspicious devices were found. Police were unable to confirm whether the phone calls were a hoax.
Tuesday’s incidents follow a series of other alerts that took place following the Paris terror attacks, last November.
In London, Regent Street was cordoned off twice in the month of December following bomb alerts, affecting retail stores including Hamleys, Brooks Brothers and J. Crew. More recently, Liverpool’s city center was affected with Liverpool One, the city’s biggest mall, receiving a bomb threat.