Solving complex or persistent problems often requires approaching them from more than one angle.
That’s why the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit can be a valuable tool in combatting illegal activity and keeping communities safe and secure.
A recent case on Edmonton’s north side showed how measures used by SCAN, in concert with police, helped break the cycle of drug trafficking at a problem property in the neighbourhood.
After investigations confirmed drug activity at the north Edmonton property, SCAN investigators used their evidence to obtain a Community Safety Order (CSO) which gave them the authority to evict tenants from the property and ban any new occupants for two years.
“The residents of this neighbourhood have endured the negative impact that a property entrenched in the drug subculture brings,” SCAN investigator Paul Hennig said.
“The community can now breathe easier, knowing that the people responsible for making them feel unsafe and preventing them from enjoying their own property won’t be allowed back.”
In December 2015, SCAN investigators engaged the Edmonton Police Service for assistance, and police officers arrested two people. Criminal charges were laid and officers seized a quantity of cocaine from both of them.
The CSO obtained by SCAN, which went into effect September 19, shut down the drug activity by forcing out the problem tenants, while allowing the landlord to remain in the home.
The Safer Neighbourhood and Communities Act gives SCAN the authority to close problem properties by boarding them up and fencing them off. However, many complaints are resolved informally or with less serious measures, as was the case with this property. Last year, SCAN received 626 complaints and resolved the majority of them through informal means such as warning letters. Only eight cases resulted in CSOs.
Albertans who suspect illegal activity is occurring at a property in their neighbourhood can contact SCAN online or toll-free at 1-866-960-SCAN (7226). All complaints are confidential. Residents are reminded to never investigate suspected problem properties on their own.