Swatting, while not exclusive to the gaming community, had been a major issue we had to deal. Seattle Police had now established a registry system in order to prevent this malicious crime that could end up seeing some of our favourite gaming celebrities becoming a fatality.
If you aren’t sure what Swatting is, it is a crime where someone calls in the Police and provides them with false information. That information is enough to force the Police to respond with a tactical force (SWAT) to combat what they believe is a highly dangerous threat. In a few minutes, the SWAT team would then operate by coming into the unsuspecting victim’s location and arrest him/her.
This is a crime through several countries/states and has the potential to be an event with getting a person or several people killed due to the mistakenly high tension the police expects it to be. While the fatalities are rare, it has happened before, most infamously, the Andrew Finch case.
Seattle established two systems that aim to provide the tools for both the community and the police to ensure such things doesn’t happen again. SMART 911 and Rave Mobile Safety each has a purpose but requires the community to be active about it.
SMART 911 relies on the community to enter in specific details so those first responders will be able to access information in regards to specific needs such as allergies, injuries or other medical conditions.
Rave Mobile Safety complements SMART 911 by allowing operators to check if the area being reported has Swatting concerns. This allows the officers to be more informed of the situation. The blog stated that they will still dispatch officers, but it wouldn’t be as risky as deploying SWAT units as they stated, “If swatting concerns have been registered, this information will be shared with responding officers, who will still proceed to the call. If no location profile exists, officers will still continue to the call.”
With those two systems in place, hopefully, it will minimise the dangers and impact of what Swatting can do as it will provide all parties with the tools needed to ensure that no one else gets hurt.
While Australia doesn’t have as many cases revolving Swatting, do you think the government or police should consider using those systems to prevent potential fatalities?