Make a complaint about a suspicious property

The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit helps Albertans take back their neighbourhoods by dealing with problem properties.

Under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) Act , SCAN targets and shuts down properties that are regularly used for illegal activities such as:

  • drugs
  • gangs
  • prostitution
  • child exploitation

If there’s a suspicious property in your neighbourhood, don’t investigate it or approach its occupants.

To file a complaint

After you file a complaint:

  • a SCAN investigator will contact you confidentially and discreetly
  • you won’t be called as a witness or identified to any police agency or court

SCAN brochure

Signs of illegal activity

If a property is being used for illegal activity, you may notice a high frequency or combination of some of these activities:

  • frequent visitors at all times of the day and night
  • frequent late night activity
  • windows blackened or curtains always drawn
  • visitors with expensive vehicles
  • unfriendly people who appear to be secretive
  • people watching passing cars suspiciously
  • extensive investment in home security
  • strange odours coming from the house or garbage
  • garbage that contains numerous bottles and containers, particularly chemical containers
  • putting garbage in a neighbour's collection area

How SCAN operates

After receiving a complaint about a suspicious property, SCAN investigators can:

  • begin an investigation
  • gather information
  • issue a warning letter
  • mediate the dispute
  • apply to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a community safety order (CSO)
  • work with the landlord to facilitate an eviction or resolution
  • take any measures necessary to safely and effectively close the property

Note: A CSO is a court order that requires the occupants to vacate and allow SCAN to seize the property for up to 90 days; it can also impose conditions on occupancy or tenancy.

Two SCAN units, operating out of northern and southern Alberta , work collaboratively with municipal law enforcement and social service agencies. Many of the investigators are former police officers with extensive investigative and surveillance experience.