Police: ‘Montgomery Facebook ‘massacre’ probe may take time’

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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The headteacher at Montgomery High School said meetings with parents worried about hoax threats were ‘positive and supportive’.

Senior teachers spent the first two days of the week talking to parents, including those representing a ‘sizeable online community’, Tony Nicholson said following an anonymous Facebook threat to ‘massacre’ pupils.

A total of 1,063 pupils were in school yesterday after hundreds stayed away on Monday and Tuesday

He added: “We discussed in detail all the worries and concerns of the parents who have contacted this forum.

“We did have a very healthy and open discussion covering all aspects of current concerns as parents. We reaffirmed with confidence the school’s position regarding children’s attendance at Montgomery.

“This school is a safe place of learning and we welcome all our students back.”

Meanwhile, Lancashire Police is continuing to investigate the Facebook threats. An apparent ‘confession’ by someone claiming to be the person responsible, using the name ‘The Real John Smith’, was posted on The Gazette website earlier this week.

Det Ch Insp Gary Brooks said: “This is an extremely complex investigation further complicated by the vast, global nature of the internet.

“While 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.”

He added: “We are treating this new post as a valid line of enquiry and it may well be linked to the original comments but it’s still too early for us to say.

“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.”

Call police on 101.