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University lockdown lifted after threatening phone call investigation

LISMORE, Australia: Police have given all-clear after Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus was locked down and evacuated over threatening phone calls.

The “threatening phone calls were received” by the varsity at about 1:30pm leading to a thorough building-by-building search by the police on Tuesday afternoon.

Officers had earlier urged the students and staff to stay indoors as the campus was inspected for any threat.

“There have been no reports of injury of shots fired,” NSW police said in a statement.

Around 3pm Southern Cross University tweeted its Lismore campus was in “emergency lockdown” and “police are currently on-site and all students and staff are advised to remain inside until given the all-clear”.

“Anyone planning to visit the campus at present should postpone,” it read.

By 5:30pm the university confirmed the situation was in control.

“What I want to be clear with the public is, there is no threat,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Wayne Humphrey confirmed to the media.

“There was a period of about 200 people lockdown in a certain area, that area has now been cleared,” he said.

He defended the police operation that began with a single threatening phone call, “(The threat) was serious enough that armed police went to the location.”

“It was a single phone call that went for some time, long enough that a police negotiator was able to converse with a male for some period,” said Humphrey.

Police say at this stage the identity of the phone caller or links to the university are not known.

Police investigation about the incident is ongoing.