February 20, 2014 8:09 pm

ALERT to vacate and clean problematic home on Alberta Avenue

Global News

EDMONTON – An Edmonton home that police say has been a haven for drugs and prostitution for years will be cleared out by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT).

“It was a very prolific drug house, so an extreme victory for the community that we’re shutting this property down,” said Chip Sawchuk, manager of ALERT’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) team.

Since 2007, the home – on 120 Avenue and 90 Street – has generated more than 100 calls to police.

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“All sorts of different calls that they had to deal with at this residence, many of them surrounding drugs,” added Sawchuk.

“So to shut this down today, we’re extremely happy. It was an extreme drain on police resources.”

In January 2012, it was the scene of a drive-by shooting that police say was related to an unpaid drug debt.

SCAN teams started investigating the home in October 2011, with the help of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).

“As a result of community complaints in this neighbourhood,” explained Sawchuk.

“These complaints occurred over a very lengthy period over the last two years. So, this was an extremely lengthy investigation surrounding drug trafficking, drug use and consumption in and around this property.”

“There’s a school just down the block here… we have school children out at noon, and we had all kinds of drug traffickers in this area during the day.”

The SCAN team will board up and vacate the home on Thursday, Feb. 20.  As per a Community Safety Order (under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act), the closure will last 90 days.

“That’s the most serious that they can do, is a 90 day closure on a property… there’s an additional three month period after that the SCAN unit will be monitoring the property,” said Sawchuk.

SCAN investigators use civil legislation to target problem properties around the province used for illegal purposes such as prostitution, drug use and trafficking, and gang activity. Since April 2013, SCAN has received more than 350 complaints about problem properties province-wide.

Albertans who suspect illegal activity is occurring at a property in their neighbourhood can contact SCAN online or toll-free at 1-866-960-SCAN (7226).

© 2014 Shaw Media

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