Canada: Swatting calls endanger the public and cost Calgarians: police - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Swatting calls endanger the public and cost Calgarians: police

18:51  09 october  2019
18:51  09 october  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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And with multiple officers responding, they are costly to the public and draw resources from legitimate police work. California adopted an anti- swatting measure last year. Local police officials say it has been rare in Central Indiana. After police evacuated the house and determined the call was a hoax

In the United States, a SWAT ( special weapons and tactics ) team is a law enforcement unit which uses specialized or military equipment and tactics .

a man walking down the street: Calgary police say swatting calls can cost thousands of dollars. © Global News Calgary police say swatting calls can cost thousands of dollars.

Calgary police are warning the public of the consequences of swatting phone calls after two men were charged in relation to two swatting instances earlier this year that unnecessarily tied up service members.

"Swatting" is a term used to describe false reports of criminal activity that prompt police to dispatch a large number of officers.

READ MORE: 4 Calgary schools locked down as police respond to swatting calls

In a news release, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) explained that swatting calls have the potential to create significant risks to public safety and end up costing taxpayers.

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The Calgary Police Service says it has charged Tyler Raj Barriss with public mischief, mischief and fraud. Siegenthaler said swatting calls can put the public and officers at risk and tie up police resources. He said it’s frustrating. “We have to take these calls seriously and we have to take them at

Swatting is the act of making a false report to police by making it appear that a distress call is coming from another person's home. Emergency response teams such as SWAT teams respond to the calls and shut down neighborhoods working under the assumption that the calls are real.

“They endanger the public, our officers and divert limited emergency resources from people who really do need help,” Staff Sgt. Jodi Gach explained.

“We have no choice but to respond as though every call we get is real, and even though we are glad these serious incidents turn out to be fake, there is still a very real cost to Calgarians.”

Charges laid in swatting incidents

The first of the swatting charges recently laid by the CPS was related to a series of alleged swatting calls that happened in the East Village between June 4 and July 4.

During that month, the CPS said officers were called to the area 23 times by someone who reported witnessing a crime involving a weapon or a medical emergency.

READ MORE: California man with role in ‘swatting’ death sentenced to 20 years

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The 911 call was fake, authorities said, but the bullet was very real.

But in worst-case swatting incidents, police shoot innocent people to death. Last December, officers shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old Los Angeles police arrested Tyler Barriss for the swatting attack the next day. The 25-year-old lived in California and had called police in Wichita from some 1

During a call on July 4, police say officers were able to locate a suspect in a home in the 600 block of 6 Avenue Southeast.

A search warrant was executed, and a number of electronic items were seized.

Investigators believe the same suspect may be responsible for eight additional alleged swatting calls that happened in southwest Calgary between April 24 and May 3, as well as 55 additional calls to 911 since September 2018.

“Although these additional calls did not meet the threshold for criminal charges, each call required emergency dispatch and police resources,” the CPS stated.

Zachary James Jakeman, 25, is charged with 35 offences related to public mischief and making false statements.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 10.

READ MORE: Several Alberta schools locked down after swatting threats

The second incident of alleged swatting in which officers laid charges happened late last month.

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“ Swatting ” is the act of reporting a fake crime to local police , in the hopes of getting a SWAT team to bust down someone’s door. Police confirmed today that they believe the call to be an act of swatting , and say they will be working to find those responsible alongside federal partners.

“If the false police call had not been made, we would not have been there,” Deputy Chief Troy Livingston of the Wichita Police Department said at a Mr. Wexler said that many departments had been trained to identify potential swatting calls , but that “technology clearly is trying to trump good

Police were reportedly called to a building in the 600 block of 3 Avenue Southwest just before 10 a.m. on Sept. 26 for reports of a man with a gun.

CPS said an emergency lockdown was put in place, forcing dozens of employees to either hide in their offices or leave the building.

On Wednesday, police arrested Shing Lam, 31, and charged him with making a false statement and public mischief. Lam is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 22.

Swatting costs taxpayers thousands of dollars

The CPS said the series of alleged swatting incidents in the East Village provided them with the unique opportunity to analyze the cost of swatting and determine an estimated price for the response:

Approximately 612 officer service hours were expended in response to swatting calls that occurred in 2019. (This does not include hours of work for call takers and dispatchers at Calgary 911.) The estimated financial cost attributed to this is $82,720.

A total of 36 personnel, both sworn and civilian, from six investigative teams, were involved in the investigation. The total number of investigative hours is estimated at 1,075. The total estimated cost for the investigation is approximately $97,587.

A conservative estimate for the total call response and investigative cost for the swatting calls attributed to the East Village series of calls is approximately 1,687 hours, or approximately $180,308.

"This is a significant expense and drain of resources that could have otherwise been invested in legitimate calls for service by the public," the CPS said.

Chinese student, 16, charged with mischief after police say he 'staged' his own kidnapping .
A 16-year-old boy newly arrived in Canada from China is facing a charge of public mischief after police say he "staged" his own kidnapping to get attention and cash from his parents. According to York Regional Police, officers were called to a home on Huntington Park Drive in Markham shortly after midnight on Sept. 27. Officers were shown a video of the teen that police say was sent to his parents in China via a social media app.The video showed the student bound, gagged and wearing a blindfold, York police said Tuesday morning in a news release.

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