EDMONTON – NEWS – The Alberta Sheriffs have shut down a property in Airdrie where drug activity was disrupting a residential neighbourhood.
The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order against the owner of 247 Bayside Point SW in Airdrie that closes the property for 90 days and forbids anyone from entering until February 16, 2022.
The community safety order took effect at noon on November 18, authorizing investigators to install a fence around the house, board up the windows and change the locks. These measures will remain in place and keep anyone from entering the property until the closure period ends.
“Thanks to the diligent work of the Alberta Sheriffs, people in this community can go back to feeling safe and at ease in their neighbourhood. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act is an effective tool for law enforcement by allowing authorities to combat crime by targeting properties associated with criminal activity.”
Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General states, “The SCAN unit began its investigation after receiving several complaints about drug activity from the community. Surveillance by the SCAN unit substantiated the complaints and confirmed drug activity was taking place. Investigators observed a high number of people coming and going from the property by car, on bicycles and on foot”.
Since December 2018, the local RCMP responded to more than 50 calls to the property for a variety of reasons, including domestic disputes, disturbances and stolen vehicles.
Drug activity at the property has also been the subject of two criminal investigations by police. The Calgary Police Service searched the property in January 2021 with the assistance of the RCMP, finding drug paraphernalia and laying more than 70 criminal charges against one person. In August 2021, the RCMP executed a search warrant and found drug paraphernalia as well as a machete.
On November 5, SCAN investigators obtained a community safety order in Court of Queen’s Bench. The order remains in effect for one year, keeping the property under supervision until November 5, 2022.
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 nearly 100 community safety orders. The majority of complaints are resolved by working with property owners to keep criminal activity out of the community.
Ontario does not have a Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act like Alberta does. In 2010, similar legislation had passed third reading before the legislature, but after the provincial election that year the bill was not brought back.