‘Acid at­tack plan’ rumour quickly quashed by po­lice


Leicester Mercury - - News / Weather - By CIARAN FAGAN ciaran.fagan@reach­plc.com @cia­ranefa­gan

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

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