UPDATED: Man, 54, bailed over school ‘massacre’ threat

Police presence at Montgomery High School as pupils arrive for school following online threats on Facebook

Police presence at Montgomery High School as pupils arrive for school following online threats on Facebook

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A 54-year-old man arrested in connection with a Facebook threat at Montgomery High School in Bispham has been bailed.

The man, from Blackpool, was being held on suspicion of public nuisance and malicious communication offences, police said.
He was arrested earlier on Thursday. He has been bailed to April 20.

Officers were made aware by concerned members of the public about a number of Facebook and Reddit social media posts between December 30 and 31 related to Montgomery High School in Bispham.

The messages, created by an anonymous user, threatened to harm pupils when the school term started. The school opened as planned on Monday, January 4, with officers in attendance at the site, providing a visible presence to reassure parents, pupils and staff. There was no incident and no one was harmed.

Detectives launched an extensive investigation following the posts and a 54-year-old man from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of public nuisance and malicious communication offences.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting incident reference 0006 of December 30.

Police earlier told The Gazette their investigation into the social media threats was ‘complicated’.

The officer leading the investigation DCI Gary Brooks said: “This is an extremely complex investigation further complicated by the vast, global nature of the internet.

“Whilst the public can’t visibly see what we are doing, I must stress that we have a dedicated team of officers and specialist resources working behind the scenes to identify who posted the threats and the subsequent ‘apology’ on the Gazette’s website. Complex enquiries of this nature could take some time to complete.

“We are still of the view that the threat was not credible and we do not believe that any staff or pupils are at immediate risk of harm as a result of the posts.”

The school opened as planned on Monday (4 January) with officers in attendance at the site, providing a visible presence to reassure parents, pupils and staff. There was no incident and no one was harmed.

“The person responsible for the original posts may not have realised the seriousness of their actions and the extent of disruption they would cause. I would urge them to come forward and identify themselves. We will continue our inquiries until we trace this person.

“The school is open and we will continue to provide a visible presence.”

If you have any information about this incident that could assist police with their investigation, please call Lancashire Police on 101 quoting incident reference 0006 of December 30.