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Three arrests after "gun threat" social media posts

Created on 18/09/2020 @ 15:19
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Three men have been arrested in Newtown after social media posts led to a firearms team descending on Newtown High School because of concern a man was seen outside with a firearm.

Police chiefs have slammed local people for sharing posts and spreading the unfounded rumours.

"Dyfed-Powys Police was made aware this morning of utterly irresponsible and scaremongering posts on Facebook, suggesting that the authors of the posts were going to use firearms at a school in the Newtown area," said a Dyfed Powys Police spokesperson.

"The posts were by individuals local to Newtown and police acted swiftly to address this, which resulted in the arrest of three local men, aged 20, 21 and 27 on suspicion of malicious communications and public order.

"As part of the initial response schools were also given advice to be vigilant."

The spokesperson added: "Understandably the posts caused serious concern in the area, and unfortunately the subsequent rumours led to misunderstandings.

"This is turn led to calls to the police alleging there was a man with a firearm seen outside Newtown High School."

"Police had to respond appropriately to these calls based on the threat allegedly posed and a firearms unit was sent to the school.

"We can confirm that there was no man at the school, and when we have delved further into the detail of the calls, it has transpired that they were as a result of the rumours circulating, and not based on first-hand accounts."

Police have also carried out thorough searches as a result of the arrests and no weapons have been recovered. The local Neighbourhood Policing Team will also be present at the school at home time to reassure and inform parents, pupils and staff.

"We hope this clarification will reassure the community of Newtown that there is no threat to schools in the area, and the matter was dealt with seriously and swiftly.

"We would also appeal to everyone to stop sharing the posts and any associated rumours, in order to prevent any further unsubstantiated fear and alarm in the area."
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