LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles police say they’ll no longer routinely issue news releases on hoax emergency calls targeting the homes of celebrities.
The LAPD announced Thursday that they’ll downplay incidents of “swatting” that in recent months have sent emergency responders to the homes of Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.
Spokesman Christopher Ngo says the move is intended to deny the publicity that motivates the prank callers.
Police said the department will not immediately confirm the incidents for news organizations either. Media outlets will instead be required to file formal public records requests.
The term “swatting” comes from the pranksters’ desire to have heavily armed special weapons teams dispatched to their calls.
In December police arrested a 12-year-old boy suspected of placing swatting calls to many celebrity houses, including Kutcher’s.