‘Acid attack plan’ rumour quickly quashed by police
SCHOOL SAYS ITS WARNING ABOUT TOWN FAIR WAS ‘IN GOOD FAITH’
POLICE had to move quickly to quash a rumour that parents should keep their children away from Loughborough Fair because of a “planned acid attack”.
At least two schools in the town and surrounding area shared the message with parents and it was then circulated more widely on social media.
The message said: “Important information from the police: For all students not to attend Loughborough Fair this evening due to information they have received regarding a planned acid attack.”
Maplewell School, in Woodhouse Eaves, also shared the message on its social media pages.
Police responded by saying it had issued no such advice.
The force also had to dismiss rumours of a stabbing at the town fair.
It appears a member of staff at De Lisle College became aware of the acid attack rumour on social media on Wednesday or Thursday and contacted the force to ask whether it was true.
Having spoken to the force, the school sent the message to parents in “good faith”, headteacher Dr John Pye said. He said: “It originally came from a member of school staff who became aware of a rumour circulating on social media.
“They contacted the police and was advised that children should not attend the event.
“It was done in good faith and the police have apologised. “They have admitted one of their members of staff misinformed my member of staff.”
A police spokesman said efforts were under way to find out exactly what information its member of staff had released. The force said: “We are aware of concerns being circulated online and on social media about the safety of people attending Loughborough Fair this weekend.
“Among these concerns are suggestions of there being reported stabbings since the fair opened on Wednesday evening. We are also aware of people sharing messages stating that police have advised residents not to attend the event.
“We are not telling people it is unsafe to attend.
“To date, there have been no reports of any violent incidents at the fair.
“There have been some minor incidents of anti-social behaviour which has resulted in the force putting dispersal orders in place.
“Powers under section 35 of the AntiSocial Behaviour Act allow officers to disperse people who are likely to commit crime or disorder or behave in an antisocial manner.
“The order will continue to be in place from 6pm on Friday until the early hours of Sunday morning in and around the fair.
“People attending the event can expect to see officers on patrol and engaging with visitors as they have done over previous years.
“We know that the fair is an extremely popular annual event for the town with thousands of people attending and we will continue to work closely with Charnwood Borough Council and the fair’s organisers to support the event.”
We are not telling people it is unsafe to attend. To date, there have been no reports of any violent incidents
DISMISSED: Messages were circulated online about stabbings and a planned acid attack at Loughborough Fair