Devices seized in raid after OBHS evacuated

Police have raided a North Dunedin house after online threats led to Otago Boys' High School being evacuated this morning.

After executing a warrant today, police seized several electronic devices, including mobile phones and computers, they said in a statement.

Police were speaking with a ''number of youths'' in relation to the incident.

No-one has been charged at this time.

Cordons around the school were lifted earlier today after it was evacuated this morning, on the first day of NCEA exams, due to what was called "an unspecified threat".

Police said emergency services were called at 7.35am following a "threat", resulting in the evacuation of the school as a precaution. 

Cordons around the school were lifted just before 10am, having been in place for nearly 2½ hours.

"A search of the school has not located anything of concern,'' a police statement said.

"However a police presence will remain at the school for the next few hours to provide reassurance.

Emergency services at the scene of the incident at Otago Boys' High School this morning. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Emergency services at the scene of the incident at Otago Boys' High School this morning. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

"Police would like to thank the school and nearby community for their co-operation and assistance as we worked to ensure the area was safe.''

OBHS rector Richard Hall said the school would reopen at noon for normal classes and all exams scheduled for the afternoon were set to run at their normal times.

The threat which was made online was taken seriously by the school and police were investigating, he said.

"This morning Otago Boys' High School received an online threat through Facebook.

"We have been working closely with the New Zealand Police and will continue to co-operate with them as the move through their enquiry.

"As always the safety of the students and staff was the school's priority and we are pleased with how our procedures held."

Nearby Arthur Street School, which was also affected by the incident, earlier decided to close for the day.

The incident disrupted the start of exams today, and saw a scholarship calculus exam moved to John McGlashan College and a Level 2 Physics exam has been shifted to St Hilda's Collegiate.

About a dozen pupils went to the exam at John McGlashan and about 70 boys went to St Hilda's to complete the physics exam, Mr Hall said.

Everyone who needed to transfer for the exams did so as far as we are aware and we thank the other schools for their efforts, he said.

OBHS contacted parents via text message to get them up to date with the unfolding situation, and the school's response was praised by several people on its Facebook page.

All boys were asked to stay at home until further notice, and boys already at school _ including students at waterpolo training _ were looked after by teachers and school staff.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand had two appliances at the scene on standby, and St John had an ambulance at the school as a precaution.

 

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