Social media ‘heightened fears’ over false report of armed man at Cookstown primary school say police


Reports that an armed man was spotted outside a school in Cookstown, have proven to be false, police have confirmed.

In a statement a PSNI spokesperson said speculation on social media, has created fear for parents at the school.

“Police went to the school immediately and can now confirm that nothing untoward has been found,” the spokesperson said.

“It was reported that two young school pupils saw a man in a tree, who possibly had a firearm, adjacent to the school grounds.

“Detailed protocols, that are in place between police and schools, were immediately actioned. A full operation was put in place from the outset, as would be the case with any report of this kind that is received from a school.

“Mr Downing, school principal, thanked the Police for their prompt and proportionate response and re-iterated that the school and its staff had managed the situation to ensure that children were safe and parents were reassured as required.

“However rumours on Social Media Networks caused unnecessary fear and anxiety for many parents.

“Police are aware of speculation that appeared on social media sites that raised fear and panic within the community especially for parents who were unnecessarily distressed and alarmed.

“We would like to reiterate that nothing untoward has been found and a full and robust response was put in place as soon as the report was received to ensure the safety of pupils and staff in the school.”