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

Smithers Christmas bird count results

Over 5,000 birds observed in annual count, including a couple local rarities.

Giesbrecht pleads not guilty in murder trial

Giesbrecht, 67, faces 1st-degree murder of Raymond Bishop, found May 2017 south of Francois Lake.

Bulkley Valley SD 54 superintendent leaving

Chris van der Mark has been superintendent with SD54 for eight years, and has hands full in Cariboo.

Council wants culture centre referendum

Library/gallery gets extra grant scrutiny for passing $10-million threshold.

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Most Read