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Suspected prostitution behind police unit's first home seizure

The chain-link fence surrounding a Forest Lawn home has brought a sense of relief to neighbouring families.

The chain-link fence surrounding a Forest Lawn home has brought a sense of relief to neighbouring families.

For the first time in Southern Alberta, the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit seized a home suspected to be involved in drug activity and prostitution.

Next-door neighbour April Harrison said she’s happy to see the home boarded up and hopes her three children can now play outside.

Harrison alleged that the homeowner, whom she called Wayne, had brought prostitutes to the now-closed home, and recalled instances of vomiting and other problems in the backyard — situations in which she said her children were exposed.

“I felt really happy this morning ... Hopefully it will do something because now the kids and everybody will be able to go outside and we won’t have to monitor them nearly as much as we did before,” said Harrison.

SCAN has been investigating this property since June 2009 and over the last year, police have visited the house 147 times, said Ray Robitaille of the Calgary Police Service.

“This is what would typically be called a drug house,” he alleged.

The house will be under SCAN’s control for 90 days and the two brothers living in the home, one of whom is the owner, have been removed. After the three months, the house will be given back to the owner.

“If the same problem occurs, we end up with a re-investigation,” said Mike Letourneau of SCAN, adding that he hopes the message sent to the owner is enough to prevent further problems.

Robitaille said there have been no charges laid in relation to SCAN’s investigation.