Social media threats serious

Provincial police say five people have been charged with allegedly making threats against Ontario schools on social media.

Sgt. Peter Leon says officers conducted six separate investigations into threats in the province's central division over the past few weeks, five of which resulted in charges.

He says all of those charged were between the ages of 12 and 17, and a sixth person was not arrested because they were too young to face criminal charges.

Leon says the incidents are part of a growing trend the force has seen of threats made on social media, particularly on Instagram.

He says the investigations were unrelated, with the majority occurring in areas overseen by the Nottawasaga, Collingwood and Barrie detachments of the force.

Leon says the problem isn't isolated to his division of the provincial police — it's pervasive.

On Monday, for instance, police announced they had arrested three people in Bathurst, N.B., after social media threats sent two schools into lockdown.

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