A BOMB threat forced the evacuation of more than 200 patrons from a licensed premises in Armidale early Sunday morning.
About 12.45am, Armidale police were alerted to two triple-0 calls made by an anonymous man from a public phone box at Canambe St.
The man indicated to the operator there was a bomb inside the premises that was going to blow up.
After conducting a number of initial inquiries, police, NSW Ambulance and Fire and Rescue NSW officers swooped on a nightclub at Beardy St where they proceeded to safely evacuate all patrons to an assembly point outside.
A subsequent search of the premises failed to find any items of a suspicious nature.
Police say they are treating the unusual but highly serious incident as a hoax.
“It is a criminal offence and we will be treating it as such,” Inspector Rod Shoesmith said. “We will investigate it quite vigorously to identify the person responsible.”
Those found guilty of the offence face up to 12 months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $550, or both.
Recordings of the triple-0 calls would form part of the police investigation, in an attempt to identify the caller, Inspector Shoesmith said.
Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to come forward or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.