Incident at Oakville school may have been a hoax to lure police

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Published March 6, 2024 at 4:31 pm

A lockdown at an Oakville school may have taken place due to a fake emergency call meant to draw police to the area.

The lockdown occurred just before noon at St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn, a private all-girls school, according to initial reports from Halton Regional Police.

The situation at the 1080 Linbrook Rd. location lasted about 30 minutes after police announced the lockdown had been lifted and that there were no injuries or arrests.

Subsequent reports indicate the incident is being investigated as “swatting” a term used to identify a hoax where a major police response is called for in a situation that doesn’t exist. The term SWAT is an acronym used to describe police emergency response units in the U.S. called Special Weapons and Tactics.

Halton police initially took the St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn call seriously and responded as if an actual high-risk situation was taking place. As such, a lockdown was ordered, a more serious measure than a “hold and secure.”

In a hold and secure situation, a school typically locks its doors but it is business as usual for students as a threat may be in the general vicinity.

In a lockdown scenario, the steps taken are more extreme as the threat is considered to be in the school or aimed at the facility. The doors are locked and students are told to remain in their classrooms.

Police are continuing their investigation into the Mildred’s-Lightbourn incident and sources said that swatting is being looked at as the main motive for the call. Officially, police have not elaborated on the swatting or indicated if a real emergency took place.

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