What is SCAN?
ALERT's Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit makes communities safer by using civil legislation to target residential and commercial problem properties in rural and urban Alberta where specified illegal activity is occurring regularly. This includes drug trafficking, prostitution, and gang related crime. SCAN holds owners accountable for activity taking place on their property and supports landlords by helping them remove problem tenants who disrupt neighbourhoods and destroy property.
A resource for communities across Alberta, the unit initiates investigations based on citizen tips and works in partnership with residents to increase safety.
How does SCAN work?
When a community member reports a problem property to SCAN, the unit will begin an investigation. Once the investigation confirms activity, investigators will contact the property owner to try and solve the problem informally.
If informal efforts are unsuccessful, SCAN can apply to the courts for a Community Safety Order (CSO) that calls for owners to meet a number of conditions, or for the property to be seized and closed for up to ninety days.
SCAN uses civil legislation to target properties, not people. Any criminal activity uncovered when dealing with these properties is turned over to the police to investigate.
To report a problem property and play a role in keeping your community safe, contact SCAN at 1-866-960-SCAN (7226). You can also file a complaint online at www.scan.alberta.ca. Calls are toll-free and all complaints are confidential.
What kinds of properties will SCAN investigate?
"Property" could include a structure, business, house, apartment, mobile home, or land with or without a structure or dwelling on it.
What happens if a CSO is issued for a property?
A copy of the order is served to the owner and posted at the property. The property can be fenced and secured to prevent access. A CSO keeps tenants from continuing any illegal activities and may order some or all tenants to leave if they are involved in those activities. The property owner is libel for the costs related to closing the property.
What happens to occupants living in a property being investigated by SCAN?
Tenants are only removed from a residence as a last resort, mainly in instances when the tenant or the owner is not cooperating. A CSO often stipulates that all occupants of a property must leave immediately and no one can re-enter without the consent of SCAN or the court.
What happens to tenants who are not involved in illegal activities?
Tenants who are required to vacate a property as a result of a CSO but who may not have been involved in illegal activity, can apply to the court for permission to return to the property. This application must be made within fourteen (14) days from when the order was served.
What are signs I can look for in my neighbourhood?
The following are common signs of suspicious or illegal activity; observing one of the following doesn't always signal illegal activity, but if they occur frequently or together, a problem may exist.
Signs to look for include:
If you are suspicious of a property, do not investigate it yourself or approach the occupants. Contact local police or SCAN.
How do I file a complaint?
There are 2 ways to confidentially report a suspicious property:
If enough evidence exists to support the complaint, SCAN will investigate.
Are complaints anonymous?
All complaints are held in the strictest of confidence. The name of anyone who files a complaint will not be revealed at any time to offenders, law enforcement partners, or through the courts.
Is there a property in your community where illegal activities may be occuring?
Take action to improve the safety of your community by contacting SCAN.