A teenager has been arrested over a copycat threat at a North Sydney school after thousands of students were evacuated across New South Wales.
Thousands of Year 12 students were evacuated during their HSC exams over three days last week following bomb hoaxes.
More than 20 Sydney schools were forced out of classes and exams when the threatening emails were first received on October 27.
The following day more than ten schools in regional New South Wales were then targeted, with students having to be evacuated during the HSC biology exam.
On October 29 a single threat was received at North Sydney Boys High School in Crows Nest, which police say was inconsistent to the previous threats.
On October 29 a single threat was received at North Sydney Boys High School (pictured) in Crows Nest, which police say was inconsistent to the previous threats
Neighbours who live near the school reported hearing police helicopters circling the area at about 10.30am on Thursday
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a person rang the school on Thursday morning saying there was a bomb, forcing the school to evacuate before HSC students were due to sit their modern history exam.
Local officers and specialist police conducted extensive searches at each of the schools, and no items of interest were located.
The Cybercrime Squad established Strike Force Rolum to investigate the circumstances and origins of the emails.
Following extensive inquiries, Cybercrime Squad detectives executed a search warrant at a home in Sydney’s south about 7am Wednesday.
A teenage boy was arrested and taken to Kogarah Police Station and a computer and mobile phone were seized.
The teenager is expected to be charged in relation to the incident at North Sydney Boys High School.
Police said investigations are continuing into the origins of the previous email threats, and are not linked to the incident in North Sydney.
It comes after Wednesday morning’s biology exam was interrupted after numerous New South Wales schools received a threatening email. Pictured: Students on an oval at an evacuated Castle Hill school on Tuesday
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was last week briefed by Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and told the bomb hoaxes emailed to schools on Tuesday and Wednesday had been sourced to eastern Europe.
‘He’s allowed me to confirm that the initial email threats actually emanated from eastern Europe,’ she said.
NSW Police are working with Australian Federal Police and federal authorities on the matter.
‘I have confidence that the police and the education department will resolve what is in the best interest of every student,’ Ms Berejilkian said.
‘At the end of the day what matters most is safety and wellbeing of the students.’
Several Sydney schools, including Willoughby Girls High in the city’s North Shore, have been evacuated after receiving threatening emails on October 27
Pictures posted on Facebook showed Castle Hill High students evacuated from their HSC exam last week
NSW education department secretary Mark Scott said those people making the threats may be deliberately creating ‘frustration and annoyance’.
‘We want students to be able to sit their exams…they’ve got a lot on their minds, it’s a stressful time and it’s been a stressful year – this is the last thing they need,’ he told ABC Radio last week.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott described the threats as ‘demented’.
‘It certainly takes a small and demented mind to interrupt HSC students after a traumatic year during a pandemic when the nation is at a heightened state of alert in terrorism,’ he said.
‘I’m horrified an individual or individuals would find themselves so bored that they would want to disrupt this very important part in these children’s lives.’
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