There were at least three fake bomb threats, or ‘swatting’ incidents, at the Chilliwack Law Courts in 2018. A huge police presence was in the Eastern Hillsides on Jan. 7 after another swatting incident, according to RCMP. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Another ‘swatting’ incident leads to huge police presence in B.C.

Chilliwack RCMP say no shots were fired despite claims on social media

No, there was not a police shootout in the Eastern Hillsides in Chilliwack on Sunday.

A number of Facebook pages lit up on Jan. 6 with people noting a huge police presence in a Ramsay Place neighbourhood off Marble Hill Road and claims that police were exchanging gunfire with someone.

While there was a large police presence there was no gunfire.

And the only crime committed was public mischief in the form of what is known as “swatting.”

Swatting is the term used to describe prank calls to police used either to distract or create fear and havoc by deceiving police into showing up in force at a particular address.

• RELATED: Yet another bomb threat at the Chilliwack Law Courts

Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail confirmed Monday the incident on Sunday was swatting. Mounties don’t like to give details on swatting or bomb threat incidents to avoid copycats.

What Rail did confirm was that it is a serious matter that diverts a lot of police resources from actual police work. He added that it is a criminal offence.

Swatting falls under section 140 of the Criminal Code of Canada under public mischief. It is an indictable offence and is punishable by up to five years in jail.

Whenever there is a large police presence, there is a subsequent discussion on local “beware”-style Facebook pages. What likely caused further concern on Jan. 6 was a person who claimed to actually witness police shooting.

A woman said she was in her vehicle with her baby when an officer told her she could drive through the area.

“[O]ther officers were starting to shoot and more were getting into position and the shots were going off so I put my brakes on,” she wrote in part.

But there were no shots fired.

Police are investigating the source of the prank call.

• RELATED: Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: On climate, think about the children

Our son doesn’t understand that he’s been given a legacy of environmental crises, says letter writer

High temperatures in Nanaimo break century-old records

Maximum high on Sunday edged out a temperature record that had stood since 1892

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tax breaks would encourage construction of apartments

Re: Apartment construction up during start of 2019

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Mural honouring Makayla Chang unveiled at Harewood Centennial Park

Artwork also recognizes ‘resilience and diversity’ of Nanaimo youths

Journey to a national championship was a ‘powerful experience’ for VIU

Mariners men’s basketball coach reflects on his team’s accomplishment

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

B.C. Ferries considers passenger-only ferry between West Shore and Victoria

Royal Bay, Esquimalt and Ship Point considered as part of study into new route

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Most Read