Alberta Justice & Solicitor General
Not in my neighbourhood
Nobody wants a ‘trouble property’ in their neighbourhood. Thanks to the great work of Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) Sheriffs, our communities are safer places to live, work and raise families. These are but a few examples of their work:
- A home that for years was a haven for drug addicts and prostitutes: shut down in February 2014.
- A problem commercial property operating as a massage parlor which had been a problem for Calgary police for more than 10 years: closed.
- Another property that had been an issue for Edmonton police, with 48 calls to drug and property related crimes: shut down in 2013.
Under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, SCAN investigators target problem homes used for illegal purposes such as drug use and trafficking, prostitution, gang activity. Drug runners and drug dens are monitored by SCAN unit members, who are trained in covert surveillance.
Reacting to more than 300 tips a year from the public, SCAN units are part of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams – (ALERT) team and are made up of Alberta Sheriffs who work closely with police services. ALERT was established and funded by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime.
Police agencies throughout the province rely on the SCAN Sheriffs to help address drug houses and improve community safety. In Alberta, police services do not have the authority to close down problem properties. They can go after the people selling drugs, but they can’t do anything about the property—so new people could set up shop in the same house and the same customers will continue to drop by.
Albertans who suspect illegal activity is occurring at a property in their neighbourhood can contact SCAN online at www.alert-ab.ca/scan or toll-free at 1-866-960-SCAN (7226). All complaints are confidential. Residents are reminded never to investigate suspected problem properties on their own.