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Armed police hunt gunman in school playground

PUBLISHED: 16:52 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 07 September 2010

A MAJOR security alert was sparked at a Kentish Town school after a man was chased onto the premises by a gun-toting mob. Armed police rushed to Acland Burghley secondary school at 4pm on Friday after a sighting of a man with a shotgun. There were still d

A MAJOR security alert was sparked at a Kentish Town school after a man was chased onto the premises by a gun-toting mob.

Armed police rushed to Acland Burghley secondary school at 4pm on Friday after a sighting of a man with a shotgun. There were still dozens of children and staff on the premises at the time.

It is believed the man ran into the Burghley Road school for cover after being chased by three other men after an incident close by.

He hid in an office in the reception until his pursuers left the school and was then escorted by staff off the premises.

Police managed to recover the shotgun after an armed raid at an undisclosed address late on Tuesday night.

Acland Burghley's headteacher Michael Shew said: "Everyone was just thinking what is going on here. The men were only involved in their own thing. It was like no one else around them mattered. It certainly wasn't very pleasant, but on the other hand no one felt particularly threatened by what was going on.

"They could have just as easily run into a block of flats. The school was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Mr Shew informed all parents about what had happened and has taken the step of closing the gates earlier once the pupils have left the school.

Borough Commander Dominic Clout told the Ham&High officers had been working flat out since the incident to track down those involved.

"This an alarming incident and we are determined to get to the bottom of it and bring those responsible to justice.

"This takes time to work out exactly what is the cause of it. It's not something we can solve overnight."

Both police and school bosses moved to assure pupils and parents the incident had nothing to do with kids from Acland Burghley.

Sgt Dominic Barnes, from Camden Youth Engagement Team, said: "We are confident that this incident is not school-related in anyway.

"Armed police and local officers attended promptly and nobody was injured or hurt during the incident, which only lasted inside the school for a few moments."

Police believe the incident was the result of a feud between two known criminals.

The Ham&High understands officers tracked down two of the people involved and were building up evidence against them, which included looking at CCTV footage. Officers have said both men will remain under close police scrutiny.

Adam Leys, chairman of governors at Acland Burghley said: "We don't regard this as revealing any major breach in our security arrangements.

"After all it is a school, not a prison. We are part of the community here but that doesn't mean we welcome any wrongdoers into the school.


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