An 11-year-old boy has been arrested after at least 20 fellow pupils at a school were ‘jabbed’ with a needle, forcing them to have hepatitis injections.
Police officers were called into Moreton Community School in Wolverhampton after receiving calls from a number of worried parents.
West Midlands Police today said none of the Year 7 children affected had been seriously hurt by being jabbed with the diabetes finger-prick pen.
But pupils were advised to have hepatitis injections as a precaution, despite the chance of infection being ‘negligible’.
An 11-year-old boy was arrested at his home in Low Hill yesterday and was questioned by police. He has been bailed until next month pending further inquiries.
Low Hill Neighbourhood Police co-ordinator Steve Perry said: “We received three reports on June 2 from parents saying their children had been jabbed with a diabetes finger-prick pen by a fellow pupil while at Moreton Community School.
“Officers have identified as least 20 children it’s believed were jabbed with the pen.
“It has a needle ‘nib’ just 3mm in length so none of the children are seriously hurt and public health officials have advised that the chance of infection is negligible.
“However the pupils have been advised to have hepatitis injections as a precaution.”
One mother, who did not wish to be named, today spoke of her shock at being told that her 12-year-old son had been jabbed with a blood-sugar testing device.
She said: “It was worrying and shocking to be told what had happened.
“I had to sit in the hospital for four hours while my son had a blood test and a hepatitis B injection. When we came out the waiting room was full of other students.”
The school is working with Public Health England to advise students and parents.
Those involved have been told to visit their local accident and emergency department within 48 hours to receive a free hepatitis B vaccination and letters have been sent to all parents. Headteacher at the school in Old Fallings Lane, Carl Williams, said it was a deeply concerning incident.
“As soon as we were alerted to it, we contacted parents of the children affected and spoke to the local police,” he said.
“We are also working closely with public health experts . While the risk of infection is low or negligible, children affected have been given a vaccination for hepatitis B.”
Ros Jervis, director of public health for Wolverhampton Council, said: “I am reassured that all agencies have responded very quickly to what is a very serious situation.”