Guard at primary school after alleged threat

Police will keep watch at an Oamaru primary school today after a youth allegedly entered its grounds and threatened pupils yesterday.

Sergeant Tony Woodbridge, of Oamaru, said two male youths were seen acting suspiciously in the area around Oamaru North School in Torridge St about 1.15pm, before one of them scaled a fence on the Exe St border and jumped into the school’s grounds.

‘‘It seems ... one has been quite aggressive in his behaviour towards the pupils and ran away when a staff member intervened.’’

He said one of the alleged offenders might have been armed with a weapon, but he was unable to confirm what kind of weapon it was, or whether it was presented.

Police spoke to staff and pupils at the school yesterday.

The pair were described as aged about 15 to 17.

One was a Caucasian of skinny build, with blonde hair, and was wearing an orange hat and possibly a yellow top.

The other was reportedly of Pacific descent, solidly built, with dark hair and wearing a brown and black jersey.

They were last seen in Exe St going towards Thames St.

Oamaru North School principal Sam Winterbourn said pupils and staff handled the potentially dangerous situation ‘‘extremely well’’ and the school was not placed in lockdown.

Parents of all pupils had been informed of the incident, and the school remained open for the day.

He said the school had appropriate safety and security guidelines in place to handle potentially volatile situations and did not plan to have a formal meeting with staff or the school’s board to review those.

However, the incident ‘‘would be addressed’’ at the school’s weekly assembly tomorrow.

Sgt Woodbridge said there would be a police presence outside the school before and after the school day today and during lunchtime.

Police were treating the matter as an isolated incident.

‘‘This is not the kind of thing that goes on at school around here, but we are treating it seriously.

‘‘If anyone saw any suspicious behaviour in the area around Exe St between Thames Highway and Reed St, we would like to hear from them.’’

Inquiries are continuing.