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A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with bomb hoaxes which saw six Southampton schools evacuated.

Hampshire Police confirmed the teenager was arrested on suspicion of communicating false information.

The force were informed a set of local schools received calls on Wednesday.

Extensive searches of each site were subsequently carried out before officers gave teachers the all-clear.

Bitterne Park School, Banister Park School, Regents Park Community College, St Anne’s Catholic Girl’s Secondary School, Weston School and St George’s Catholic High School for Girls were all targeted by hoax calls.

The boy has since been released on bail until September 26.

Supt Phil Lamb said: "We hope that this will act as a deterrent for those who may have considered taking similar action in the future."

During the incident, a letter sent to parents from Bitterne Park School said: "Good morning. We are just dealing with a site incident at school.

“Please do not send your child in to school until you have a further update from us.

"If your child is on the Year 8 trip, we will send you confirmation within the next 10 minutes or so on meeting/departure arrangements. Please don't send your child in until you receive this information."

David Butterworth, headteacher of Weston Secondary School, told the Daily Echo: "We have responded to a serious threat. The students have been evacuated safely and calmly.

"We have two exits either side of the school and the decision was made gather students at the leisure centre."

James Habberley, headteacher at Saint George Catholic College, added: "All the children were evacuated from the school building this morning to ensure they are safe and well.

“Police have been here this morning doing a tour of the site and have confirmed the bomb threat is a hoax.

"All of our students were kept in the shade, given water and access to the toilet. They will now be returning back to their normal lessons."

Satvir Kaur, a local Labour councillor in Southampton, separately voiced her concern about the situation.

Writing on social media, Kaur said: "Awful some local schools have been forced to close today, but our teachers and children's safety must come first.

"I hope the police can get to the root of this and children can continue with their education ASAP. If you have any info to aid police, please contact @HantsPolice".

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