Living next to a Drug House?
With the sheer volume of drugs that have made their way into the province over the last 10-15 years, the Medicine Hat Police Service has seen a dramatic rise of drug activity, particularly in residential areas. At anytime there may be up to 30 houses within the City where drug dealing activity occurs on a regular basis. The police recognize the presence of drug trafficking, especially in our neighborhoods is a public safety concern and unacceptable. All reports of suspected drug activity are taken seriously and several warrants are executed each month resulting in arrests.
If you suspect you live next to a drug house, the following are some things you can do to mitigate the problem:
- Zero Tolerance. Call the police for any violations of the law you encounter; excessive noise, unsightly yard, dogs at large, parking violations, noisy parties, noisy vehicles, driving complaints, open liquor on the street, fights etc. These types of lesser offence go hand-in-hand with drug trafficking. The more attention a drug dealer gets from the Police and Bylaw Enforcement, the more likely they are to move on.
- Go about your business as usual, be an active neighbor and demonstrate you are aware of what goes on in your neighborhood. Watch for common signs of suspicious or illegal activity, such as frequent visitors at all times of the day, windows blackened or curtains always drawn, unfriendly people who appear secretive about their activities, strange odours coming from the house, garbage that contains numerous bottles and containers and extensive investment in home security. Alone, they do not always mean illegal activities are taking place. However, if these events occur frequently, or if they occur together, there may be a problem.
- Police cannot enter a residence to search for drugs or people without a warrant authorizing them to do so. This only if a judge is convinced that there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe drug trafficking is taking place. You can help the police form their grounds by keeping detailed notes of dates, times, license plates and other information that help show drug activity is taking place.
- As part of government’s priority to build strong communities, the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act (SCAN) allows Albertans to take back their neighbourhoods by reporting problem residences and buildings. SCAN improves community safety by targeting properties used for illegal activities and holds property owners accountable for illegal activities that regularly take place on their property.
If you are suspicious about a property in your neighborhood, do not investigate it yourself or approach the occupants. Contact the Medicine Hat Police Service at 403-529-8400 / SCAN at 1-866-960-SCAN (7226) or call the Drug Tip Line at 403-502-8909.