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Seattle police launch registry to combat swatting

SOCIAL
3 Oct, 2018

“Swatting” is a cruel prank that is practiced against streamers. The prankster obtains the address of the person on air and calls the police there, saying a serious crime is being committed. A kind of “show” then takes place: during the broadcast the SWAT team breaks into the house and arrest the streamer.

Swatting has become infamous for being a very dangerous practice. It has been known to lead to injury or death of victims, where the victim who does not understand what is going on, is startled by police and doesn’t comply with their orders. This practice is not something that the police find funny either.

Seattle police in the United States have now introduced counter measures to swatting. The city operates a “SMART 911” system, which allows residents to provide additional information about themselves in case of emergency. Thanks to this, the emergency services which act on the 911 call can find out valuable information even before they arrive on the scene.

As part of SMART 911, there is Rave Facility for corporate entities. The emergency services have adapted this to the needs of streamers. Seattle streamers can now register their home with Rave Facility and have on record that there is a likelihood swatting could take place. The 911 operator will still try to handle the call and send the emergency services to the address as as soon as possible, but simultaneously, they will see the record the would-be victim has made, thereby warning the police about prank.

The Seattle government has emphasized that this method to counter swatting was thought through in such a way so as not to slow down the emergency response services. As such, if something dangerous really is happening at the streamers address, the emergency response will arrive just as fast as to other addresses.