A BOMB threat has forced the emergency evacuation of a Southampton school.

Police searched Regents Park Community College after being called at 8.23am on Thursday and have now confirmed that a 21-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Parents at Regents Park Community College have been informed about the investigation and students have been sent home.

The school has now released an updated statement by headteacher Jonty Archibald regarding the incident.

It says: "At 8.05am the school received a message on the school phone to say that there was a bomb in the school.

"Students and staff were already arriving and were onsite.

"The school took the decision as a precaution to evacuate the school site, sending students and staff to an external sports area.

"Our main concern was the safety of your children in our care.

"The police were phoned immediately and arrived shortly after. Following their detailed investigation, it was concluded that this was a malicious phone call and that the site was safe to re-enter.

"The police will be continuing their investigation.

"It was decided to send students home when it became clear that the investigation was taking some time and the weather deteriorated.

"Safeguarding was always a priority.

"I have to congratulate students’ impeccable and calm behaviour today. I would like to thank all staff and staff for their support."

One mum whose daughter attends the school said: “I can’t believe it, I dropped my daughter off this morning and now the whole thing is on lockdown because of what’s being called a ‘suspicious package.”

“I didn’t know anything about it, another mum had to tell me but the children are now on the basketball court across the road, apparently safe.

“They’ve told us not to worry, but that’s easier said than done isn’t it when a suspicious package is reported at a school.”

A Hampshire Constabulary statement says: "Police attended as part of the investigation and we are currently treating this as a hoax.

"Nothing suspicious has been found at the scene.

"At this time, it is believed the threat was a malicious hoax and there is no direct risk to pupils, staff or the wider community.

"Enquiries are ongoing.

"We take hoaxes extremely seriously. They divert police resources and cause disruption and alarm to the public."

More to follow