RCMP, city, health officials join forces in problem-property crackdown

Eastview property had generated recurring complaints to RCMP

RCMP joined forces with the City of Red Deer, health officials, sheriffs and fire inspectors to target a persistent nuisance property in Eastview.

The single-family home on Ellenwood Drive had been the source of numerous property crime complaints and other suspected criminal activity, said RCMP.

On Jan. 22, police and their partners descended on the home. One man was arrested on an outstanding warrant and another for breaking his parole conditions.

Red Deer RCMP Sgt. Paul Glanville said public tips led them to the house.

“The co-ordinated approach to this particular property was a result of reports and complaints made by the public and we ask that the public continue to report suspicious activity, unusual behaviour and nuisance properties.

“Nuisance properties are often connected to criminal activity, and by working together with other agencies, we are collectively improving community safety while using enforcement tools that extend beyond the Criminal Code.”

RCMP operations officer Insp. Holly Glassford said the address was identified as a “prolific address” as part of the Pinpoint initiative, which focuses crimefighting efforts on crime hot spots, problem properties and repeat offenders.

Glassford said police had been getting calls since December.

“I can safely say for the last two months we’ve had numerous calls of service to that residence, ranging from anything from a suspicious person to persons crimes,” said Glassford.

No further charges are pending from this incident; however, the investigation continues.

The joint approach has proven its value. RCMP crime analysts are able to cross reference calls to police with nuisance complaints to the city to help identify targets.

“By working with the city, we can respond to these types of complaints more effectively,” Glassford said. “Many of these issues are not solely police concerns or warrant charges.”

Glassford expects there will be other joint efforts in the future to crack down on problem properties in town.

“We’re better together when we tackle these issues together as a team.”

Fire marshall Tim Kivell said their inspection turned up a missing smoke alarm on the second floor of the rental property, which violates the fire code.

“It did appear to be an unsightly property, just lots of garbage and stuff that needed to be cleaned,” said Kivell.

“From my end, we’re just looking at fire code stuff.”

City inspectors determined the residence violated the Community Standards Bylaw, which addresses unsightly properties and other nuisances, such as noise.

Erin Stuart, inspections and licensing manager, said there was an accumulation of garbage and dog feces on the property and the owner was given time to clean it up.

Stuart said the city had not received complaints about the property, but was asked by the RCMP to be part of the joint operation.

“We have started working more closely with the RCMP as well as other partners in doing this holistic approach on some of these properties.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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