Youth arrested after police investigate 'sophisticated' prank call on officers
A Halton Police crest is seen here in this file photo.
TORONTO -- A youth has been charged after an investigation into a “sophisticated” prank call to police about a false report of an ongoing critical incident in Oakville.
The Halton Regional Police Service arrested the young person after two incidents of “swatting,” the term police use for the prank, took place earlier this year on Jan. 25 and 28.
On those dates, police said they were called to a residence in Oakville after receiving reports of criminal acts at the location, which were later determined to be fictitious.
"’Swatting’ is a prank call to the police, but on a much more sophisticated level,” police said in a news release Thursday. “A caller makes a false report with the goal of having numerous police and emergency resources dispatched to an ongoing critical incident.”
Police said they arrested the young person from Oakville, and searched their home on Feb. 19. The youth cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The person has been charged with two counts of public mischief and two counts of criminal harassment. They have been released from custody with a future court date.
“Swatting calls involve the response of numerous frontline police officers, dispatchers and communicators in our 911 centre who are all reserved for service to a variety of legitimate community needs,” police said.
“False reports like these carry rippling impacts on our community's safety and well-being. The risk to residents is significant.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Ryan Smith at 905-825-4747, ext. 2216 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.