A UK school was forced into lockdown after receiving a "threatening email".
Children were forced to stay inside at Lache Primary School in Chester while parents were not allowed on the premises after the educational institution received the message shortly after 10am this morning (Tuesday, September 12).
But it soon emerged the email, which threatened both staff and students, had been sent to several schools in Cheshire, Liverpool and Manchester and turned out to be a "malicious hoax," reports Liverpool Echo.
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Cheshire Police said in a statement: "At around 10.05am on Tuesday 12 September, police were made aware of an email which had been sent to a number of schools in Chester and Ellesmere Port which made threats to pupils and staff.
"An investigation has been launched and officers have been attending schools to provide reassurance."
Detective Chief Inspector Justin Hancock added: "We would like to reassure parents that this is believed to be malicious and we are doing everything we can to locate the person responsible for these emails."
Earlier today, the school said: "We are aware that parents have arrived outside school. To repeat, we cannot let any children out or any parents in.
"As we have stated this is a precautionary measure following an unpleasant email that has been sent to a number of schools in Cheshire, Liverpool and Manchester. There is NOT a threat on site.
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"We have locked down the school to ensure that everyone is safe. Which they are. The police are dealing with the situation and are very happy with the measures that we have in place."
Following the emergency measures, the school confirmed at around 2.15pm the email was believed to be a cruel prank and they were able to release pupils back to their families.
In a follow-up statement, the school said: "Working in conjunction with the police, they would like to reassure parents that this is believed to be a malicious hoax.
"Therefore, we are happy to release the children but this will need to be in a staggered and controlled way for everyone’s safety."
The school said all pupils had to be collected by an adult "known to the school" to ensure the children's safety.
"Normal gates. One way system."
Chief Inspector Chris Boyd of Greater Manchester Police's City of Manchester Division said: "We take reports of this nature very seriously and whilst we have not advised any schools to close, our officers will nevertheless be stepping up their high-visibility presence around schools over the next few days to provide reassurance to them and the wider public."
Merseyside Police said they hadn't received any reports of schools in Liverpool being affected.
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