Police keep close eye on schools in wake of poison threat

Queensland Police Minister Judy Spence said police are keeping close eye on Brisbane schools in the wake of the school poisoning threat, with all available general duties police rostered on patrol duties on 08/08/2006.

Ms Spence thanked police for their "swift response" to the discovery on Monday 7 August of rat poison at a northside Brisbane children’s playground, and a "scrawled threat" that a further three Brisbane schools had been poisoned as well.

Swift police action reveals no poison found

Ms Spence said police immediately established a major incident room, creating a taskforce of 50 detectives a special information hotline.

According to Ms Spence, seven hundred state, independent and Catholic schools between Redcliffe to Logan were searched by police, principals, teachers and cleaners.

Ms Spence highlgihted no poison has been found at any Brisbane school.

“Police have responded with a very serious, high level investigation,” Ms Spence said. “Any kind of stupid action like this is going to use up a large number of police resources and that is regrettable."

Ms Spence said the offender could face up to five years in jail for making threats under the Queensland Criminal Code, or possibly up to seven years in jail for wilful damage.

Education Minister gives green light for kids to return to school

Meanwhile, Education Minister Rod Welford has urged parents to send their children to school as normal, as police investigations continue into a school poison threat.

“All our school staff are maintaining their vigilance and are taking all precautions to ensure the safety of children,” Mr Welford said. “We are asking students to follow straight-forward safety precautions and not pick up any unusual objects, and to advise a teacher if they find anything.

Mr Welford said any parent who has any concerns can ring an Education Queensland Information line on 3237 0111.

Anyone who may have seen anything suspicious is also being encouraged to ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

10 August, 2006

Findlaw

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