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)

‘Swatting’ incident leads to huge police presence in Chilliwack’s Eastern Hillsides

Mounties say no shots were fired despite claims on social media

No, there was not a police shootout in the Eastern Hillsides 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

RCMP urge caution for back to school drivers

Police are asking drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians

Traffic accident on Highway 1

Hour long backup from Abbotsford to Langley

Chilliwack encouraged to commemorate liberation of Holland

Planning already underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the event

Speth to take oath of office at special school board meeting

Speth is the newest trustee to join Fraser Cascade school district

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Memorial to deceased teen stays in place through Labour Day

Hundreds of tributes have been left at the Walnut Grove skate park

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

Most Read