Inglewood residents are enjoying the silence after a notorious house linked to criminal activity was shut down last month.
In early December, the provincially-run Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) investigators boarded up the windows and doors and erected a fence around the property at 51 Ibbotson Close.
SCAN is in the early stages of investigating five other alleged drug houses in Red Deer.
The Inglewood closure came after neighbours complained for nearly five years of shady people conducting shady business at all hours at the property. Tenants were evicted for 90 days and the house was ordered closed through a Community Safety Order.
“It’s nice and quiet,” said Jayme McKay. “It’s been really good around here. I do feel safer just knowing the guys aren’t around anymore.”
McKay said she looks forward to the summer when her children can play outside on the front lawn. Other neighbours, who did not want to be identified, applauded the efforts of law enforcement and expressed relief that the problem has been taken care of after five long years.
“They boarded it up and that was it,” said McKay. “That’s the end.”
This week, SCAN investigators checked on the house’s pipes and confirmed the house was vacant.
Investigator Grant Wright said SCAN will continue to monitor the situation when the property owner is permitted back on the property in March, after the 90 days. Under the safety order, the persons must not participate in any drug-related activity for a one-year period.
“Sometimes in these type of files, these people end up with money problems,” said Wright.
“Their lifestyle issues cause them all type of problems. I think that may be the case for this. Hopefully there will be some permanent results. Maybe he will sell the house and move on.”
Wright said their investigations basically confirm or deny allegations. A warning letter, mediating a resolution or applying for a Community Safety Order are the typical courses of action following confirmation.
There is no specific timeline from the time of complaint to when a house is locked down. Wright said it is because of the nature of the business where some houses are active for a bit, quiet and then they start up again.
“There is no magic number,” said Wright. “Just like everything else in police work. It’s all different.”
Wright said the number of investigations in Red Deer is on par per capita with what’s happening in the rest of the province.
Residents can report a suspicious property by calling SCAN toll-free at 1-866-960-7226 or using the online SCAN form at www.solgps.alberta.ca.