Man arrested after Ashburton College evacuated due to hoax bomb threat

A man has been arrested and charged for a bomb threat against Ashburton College that resulted in staff and students being evacuated.  

Senior Sergeant Janine Bowden told Newshub officers were alerted at 8:30am on Wednesday morning after a "concerning message" was left on the school's answerphone overnight.  

"There was no risk to public safety, however, police treat all reported threats seriously," Sen Sgt Bowden said.  

The threat was later found to be a hoax.
The threat was later found to be a hoax. Photo credit: Jabulani Ndebele/Newshub.

Police confirmed a 22-year-old man was arrested at his home at 9am on Wednesday.  

He faces two charges: misuse of a telephone, in relation to the threat, and false allegation of offence, in relation to the wasteful deployment of police resources, according to Sen Sgt Bowden.  

The man is expected to appear in the Ashburton District Court on Wednesday morning. 

Earlier, Ashburton College principal Simon Coleman told Newshub police responded immediately to the bomb scare and told staff and students to evacuate to the school's backfields.  

"We were told that the threat had been followed up and was a hoax," Coleman told Newshub. "We then followed police directions in returning students to classes and informing parents of the incident."  

Coleman said all staff and students followed directions along with the school's standard evacuation procedures, "which all our staff and students know of this process".