CALGARY – NEWS –The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order against the owner of 5504 Centre Street N, closing the property for 90 days.
The community safety order obtained in Court of Queen’s Bench took effect at noon on March 4, giving sheriffs the authority to board up the house, change the locks and erect a fence around the property. Nobody is allowed on the property without permission from the sheriffs until the closure ends on June 2.
“This is precisely the sort of situation that the SCAN unit was created to fix: a location where criminal activity and violence had become a seemingly everyday occurrence. Law-abiding Albertans should not have to tolerate such a level of chaos and danger in their communities. Thank you to SCAN, Calgary police and Alberta Health Services for all your work to shut down this property – and to the brave community members who provided authorities with valuable assistance during this investigation,” says Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
Since 2020, SCAN has received upwards of 30 complaints and letters from the community documenting criminal activity associated with this property. This is the largest group of complainants SCAN has ever worked with.
Records indicate that the Calgary Police Service responded to more than 115 incidents in 2020 alone, including robbery, break and enter, possession of a controlled substance, and theft of a motor vehicle. Recently at this location, a woman sustained a wound to her thigh after being attacked with a machete, and a male suffered serious injuries after taking a bullet to his face.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has also issued several orders declaring the property unfit for human habitation, most recently on Jan. 21.
On March 2, SCAN obtained a community safety order against the owners of the property. The property must remain vacant during the 90-day closure; however, sheriffs can grant the owner and a realtor access for the purpose of showing it to potential buyers. In the event that the owner does not sell the property, the order provides authorities with the option of applying to court for a five-year ban on renting the property, and a five-year community safety order.
The SCAN unit works with other law enforcement agencies to shut down properties being used for illegal activities. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives sheriffs the authority to target problem properties through civil enforcement.
Since its inception in 2008, Alberta’s SCAN unit has investigated more than 5,800 problem properties and issued more than 90 community safety orders. The majority of complaints are resolved by working with property owners to keep criminal activity out of the community.