CALGARY – The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit under the jurisdiction of Alberta Sheriffs has successfully secured a court order against the proprietor of the residence located at 3232 Rae Crescent SE. Effective from noon on October 17, the order authorizes the closure of the premises for a span of 90 days, ending on January 15, 2024.
The legal directive, issued by the Court of King’s Bench, restricts any individual access to the property until the mentioned closure period concludes. As a measure to enforce this order, crews have been dispatched to surround the property with a fencing barrier, board up the residence, and alter the locking mechanisms to deter unauthorized entry during the stipulated closure timeframe.
Alberta’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services, Mike Ellis, conveyed a strong message against criminal behaviours that jeopardize neighbourhood tranquility and endanger the safety of its residents. He emphasized the essential role of the SCAN unit in intervening and disrupting the cycle of criminal activities in problematic properties, highlighting the collaborative efforts of Alberta Sheriffs with other law enforcement bodies to augment public safety across the province.
Farooq Sheikh, the Chief of Alberta Sheriffs, reiterated the significance of SCAN investigations in assisting communities to reclaim their peace and safety from the clutches of criminal disruptions. He acknowledged the collaborative endeavours of SCAN with other law enforcement entities as a pathway for law-abiding citizens of Alberta to restore their sense of security and enjoy a serene community environment.
The legal provisions of the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act empower the sheriffs to initiate civil enforcement actions against properties identified for illegal activities. Since its establishment in 2008, the SCAN unit has conducted investigations on over 8,000 properties, issuing close to 100 community safety orders. A substantial number of these cases were resolved amicably by engaging with property owners to cease the unlawful activities.
In this particular case, the SCAN unit initiated its investigation earlier this year in January, prompted by several complaints from community members regarding suspected drug activities. The suspicions were later confirmed through observations of suspected drug transactions and an unusual volume of individuals frequenting the property. Between January 2022 and May 2023, local Calgary police were called to the property 37 times for various disturbances including drug use, drug trafficking, violent incidents, and threats. Emergency responders also attended to overdoses incidents in March and May of this year.
In May, a warning letter was served to the property owner by SCAN unit investigators, which unfortunately didn’t result in any substantial improvement. Consequently, with the assistance of an Alberta Justice lawyer, a community safety order was obtained on October 3. Beyond the 90-day closure, this order also grants the investigators the mandate to oversee the property for a period of three years until October 3, 2026, to ensure long-term compliance and safety for the community.