Authorities are now investigating multiple suspected swatting incidents that occurred recently in the lower mainland. At Metrotown Mall the police had been called after reports were made of gunshots Friday afternoon, the Transit police also responded to the SkyTrain after an incident as well and the nearby station was closed for hours.
In Port Moody police there were also dealing with threats at an elementary school as well. It is believed that the Port Moody incident was a swatting prank and they are looking into it all.
The incident that had been reported at Metrotown was also later determined to be unfounded, suspected to be a swatting prank. This came after the mall closed to the public because of the situation. Investigators are reportedly working to see if all three incidents had been related.
The scene was a little chaotic with people who were seen running, crying, and trying to figure out what was going on. Crowds quickly rushed out of the building and away from the area.
Growing Issue of Swatting
The authorities in the lower mainland are working now to try and identify who might have been behind those recent incidents that ended up prompting that huge police response to the Metrotown mall recently.
Some individuals have seen time behind bars because of their actions with swatting, in places like the U.S., and it is said to be a growing problem these days with calls being made that get SWAT teams sent to innocent people’s homes In Canada there are also other individuals who have been charged with these sorts of crimes as well. It has happened in multiple provinces around the country.
More than 1000 Swatting Incidents Per Year
It is estimated that more than 1,000 swatting incidents might be taking place each year, just in the U.S., according to a former FBI swatting expert, as they’ve been monitoring this trend for years now.
This is one dangerous trend that brings great harm to the community and can lead to a significant waste of police resources, by causing them to respond to a fake situation when they could be focusing their time and attention on other serious issues that are going on around the city.
The police have repeatedly been called out as a prank during these swatting incidents in Canada and elsewhere and it can take hours at times in order for the situation to calm down. In the meantime, a great deal of business has been lost at Metrotown because of the closure. We saw that a lot of chaos, alarm, and general disruption had been fueled because of the situation.