Alberta Sheriffs investigators have shut down a problem property that was a magnet for drug activity in north Lethbridge.
The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit obtained a court order giving investigators authority to close the property at 1813 7 Avenue N for 90 days.
The property will be boarded up, the locks will be changed and a fence will be erected around the house. The owners and any occupants are required to leave the property for the 90-day period.
“This is yet another example of the important role SCAN investigators play in keeping Alberta neighbourhoods safe and secure. I want to thank SCAN investigators for their diligent efforts to address criminal activity across our province.”
~Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
Since March, Lethbridge police have been to the property 12 times for various reasons. Ongoing criminal activity at the home created an unsafe environment for residents of the community.
The SCAN unit began investigating in May 2018 following complaints of drug activity. On June 29, 2018, police executed a search warrant on the property, resulting in two people being charged with four Criminal Code charges.
After negotiations with property owners, SCAN obtained a Community Safety Order from the Court of Queen’s Bench on Sept. 25, 2018. The owners agreed to the 90-day closure, which will remain in effect until Jan. 8, 2019.
The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives sheriffs the option of targeting problem properties through civil enforcement.
Since its inception in 2008, Alberta’s SCAN unit has investigated more than 4,700 problem properties across the province and has issued 72 Community Safety Orders. The majority of complaints are resolved informally, with no need for legal action, by working with property owners to address issues.