Giant leap forward for public safety


Unprecedented steps have been taken to make our roads safer by removing an alleged high-risk driver from Alberta’s streets.

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Karl Wilberg from the Alberta Civil Forfeiture Office (right)
and Edmonton Police Service Superintendent Kevin Gavin.

Alberta’s Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO), in partnership with Edmonton Police Service’s Specialized Traffic Apprehension Team (STAT), is seeking its first ever vehicle seizure order in an alleged road rage incident. Yesterday, the courts granted a restraint order, meaning the man charged in the case cannot use his vehicle, and set a date of September 19 for the final hearing on whether the vehicle will be permanently seized.

Under the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act, Alberta’s CFO can seize property used for illegal acts, like cars, houses and cash. Following a thorough investigation, seizures can only be made if the offence is likely to result in the acquisition of property or bodily harm. Proceeds from the sale of these items are then distributed to crime prevention and victims groups across the province.

“The majority of our cases tend to be gang or drug related,” said Karl Wilberg, director of Alberta’s civil forfeiture office. “But we have been encouraging police services to broaden their use of the Act, and would like to thank Edmonton Police Service for their hard work on this file.”

The alleged road rage incident happened in Edmonton on Saturday, April 21, 2013, where the driver of one vehicle attempted to force another vehicle off the road and subsequently threatened the other driver.

“Our CFO is one of the most active in Canada,” said Wilberg. “It disrupts crime and makes communities safer and stronger. One of our big goals when we launched in 2008 was to bring access to justice to the community, and we want Albertans to know the justice system can be effective for them.”

Typically, Alberta’s CFO targets people who have acquired properly illegally but have not been prosecuted, as well as those already sentenced by the courts. The program operates under civil legislation – meaning the standard of proof is on the balance of probabilities, rather than the criminal standard of beyond all reasonable doubt. In this way, the program makes it easier and quicker to help ensure Albertans have safe and secure communities where they can live, work and raise families.

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