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Tameside College closed after social media ‘gun attack’ threats
Tuesday 18th April 2017 @ 11:41 by Tom Greggan
Ashton News

Tameside College has closed for the day after being evacuated due to a threat made on social media.

Earlier today, an anonymous Twitter account posted a ‘gun attack’ threat and police were immediately called.

Both the Beaufort Road campus and Clarendon Sixth form college were immediately placed on lockdown as police arrived.

At Beaufort Road, police began the process of evacuating the college, building by building, but students at Clarendon were told to carry on in their lesson until 12 before being sent home. Both campuses will remain closed for the rest of today.

Matthew Lofthouse, a mature student at Clarendon Sixth Form, told the Tameside Reporter: “I was in lesson completing some work at 11:15 when we were told that the college will be closed at 12 and that we had to leave as soon as our lesson ended.

“Most students joked and we’re happy about having the afternoon off but I find it irritating. It’s not a good day for those of us who have exams coming up and assignments to complete.”

Another Clarendon student, Kane Smith, gave the Tameside Reporter a run-through of what happened. “As I was at Clarendon we didn’t get informed straight away on what was happening but on the screens around the college it had the words “Lockdown” with Red backgrounds on which I have never seen before,” he said.

“Then management came around to tell the teachers not to let us out of the classrooms. Rumours started spreading that there was a gun threat, which we then saw on Twitter, but at this time the college hadn’t tweeted about it yet.

“At about 11:45-ish, pupils that weren’t in any classes and were just on the corridors were sent to the theatre for an assembly and were told that we were being evacuated. As we were in a lesson we found out as we were leaving our classroom.”

Tameside College Prinicpal, Jackie Moores, said: “This morning the college received a threat which we had to act upon in liaison with Greater Manchester Police. With immediate effect we instigated our safeguarding processes to ensure that all students and staff remained in a safe environment.

“Through the cooperation of students, staff, parents, police and the local authority we have ensured the incident has been dealt with swiftly and effectively.

“We have taken the decision to close the college today and will open as normal tomorrow. Please check the college website for further announcements if they are required. Thank you for your support and cooperation.”

The same account also made threats to Bury College and though they were not placed on lockdown, security was tightened as a response.

A statement from Greater Manchester Police read: “At around 10.30am, police were called to reports of a threat made against a college in Tameside. At 11.30am, police were called to reports of a threat made against a college in Bury. Enquiries were conducted and the threat was deemed not credible.”

Neighbouring Ashton Sixth Form college remained open throughout the day as normal.