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May 18, 2021

Police pull out of Southern Cross University

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Northern Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Wayne Humphrey APM at yesterday’s media call.

A police report sent to media late last night said that they had concluded the operation at Southern Cross University.

It is not clear what the threat was, police were told there was a gunman on the campus but there has been nothing to confirm that at this stage.

The police operation was launched after threatening phone calls were received at about 1.30pm (Tuesday 17 September 2019). The call was made to police from the Richmond Police District.

Local police attended the campus on Military Road, where they were assisted by specialist units; including Tactical Operations Regional Support (TORS), the Negotiation Unit, the Rescue & Bomb Disposal Unit, and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.

Staff and students were then placed in lockdown at the campus and some were relaying messages about the situation to the public via social media.

Northern Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Wayne Humphrey APM said that as major police response was initiated in conjunction with SCU security. ‘A numerous enquiries have been made and we have also dealt with a number of people who have been in lockdown,’ he said. ‘I can say that I am comfortable that there is no current threat. I can also say at this stage that enquiries will determine if this was, in fact, an elaborate hoax, or if there was some substance to what occurred.’

Mr Humphrey said he couldn’t elaborate on the nature of the call but there was a suggestion that firearms would be involved.

He also said that police are not sure at this stage of the called had any links to SCU and that their identity was not known.

‘What I want to be clear with the public is, that there is no threat,’ he said. ‘It has all been an appropriate response from what we were initially told was going to happen.’

Mr Humphrey says that he feels the police response was sensational. ‘We were on the ground very quickly.’

At around 5pm approximately 800 people were evacuated from the university police searched those leaving as a precaution.

Nearby schools also initiated lockdowns, which have all now been released.

There were no reports of shots fired and following an extensive search of the campus, no credible threat was detected.

Many assumed the lockdown meant there was a gunman on campus but there has been no evidence to back that up so far.

Police will continue work with university management and maintain a high visibility presence on and around the campus.

Detectives from Richmond Police District have commenced investigations into the source of the phone calls and as their inquiries continue, they would like anyone with information to come forward.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

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  1. . There is so little information and many conflicting stories. I was there in lock down- it was terrifying and will have lasting impacts on many people. If this was just a drill or based on no real evidence it is disgraceful. Four hours hiding in a corridor with non stop siren over the loadspeaker system. Really need some answers.

  2. As s teacher at Lismore High School I was very impressed by the response of police and other units. I was in lockdown with about 10 teachers and 150 students who filled the library to capacity. Staff and students all behaved very calmly. I’ve been in schools encountering lockdowns or evacuations before and feel confident that Australian police and services are on the ground straight away.


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