WINNIPEG - Two Winnipeg youths have been arrested for making threats towards Winnipeg schools.
The arrests come after an investigation into the online threats that were made toward Arthur Day Middle School and John Gunn Middle School on January 17th.
Later that evening another threat was directed towards École Van Belleghem.
On January 21, a threat was made on social media threatening to harm officers.
On January 22, a 13-year-old male youth was placed under arrest in the company of his parents at a location in the Radisson neighbourhood. The youth faces two charges of Uttering Threats - Cause Death or Bodily Harm for the threat made towards Arthur Day Middle School and John W. Gunn Middle School, as well as the threat made towards officers. He was later released on an Appearance Notice into the custody of his parents.
Soon after, a 12-year-old male youth of Winnipeg arrived at HQ with his parents and was placed under arrest by investigators. The youth faces a charge of Uttering Threats - Cause Death or Bodily Harm for threat made towards École Van Belleghem. He was released on an Appearance Notice into the custody of his parents.
It is not believed that the two school-related threats and the respective arrests are connected. Police also do not believe the threats were credible or that the youths had access to weapons. However, the Winnipeg Police Service allocated considerable resources to the investigation and took the threats seriously. It is estimated that the investigations cost the Service approximately $45,000.
The Winnipeg Police Service urges parents to speak with their children about the consequences of posting threatening messages online. Our investigation has led us to believe that in each incident, the youth felt they were anonymous and may have not fully understood the seriousness and impact of the threats they made. It is also important to let your children know they are not as anonymous online as they may believe – especially when illegal acts such as these threats are made.