Blue Line

Alberta’s zero tolerance for crime

September 11, 2023  By Government of Alberta

Sep. 11, 2023, Edmonton, Alta. – Alberta is introducing new measures to make sure Albertans feel secure and protected in their communities.

Targeted prosecution units in Alberta’s major urban centres will help address deteriorating safety and keep Albertans safe from those who commit violent crimes. The Alberta Crown Prosecution Service (ACPS) will create teams with expertise to focus on the increased level of crime and the prosecution of violent criminals in Edmonton and Calgary. Prosecutors on these teams will work with law enforcement to focus on specific issues affecting these communities, including drug houses and available social supports, and how these factors affect the amount and type of crime occurring.

“The position of the Alberta government is absolutely clear: there is no safe haven in Alberta for criminals. These changes add to our existing efforts to make sure all criminals, especially repeat violent offenders, are held accountable for their actions,” said Mickey Amery, Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

Changes to the bail practice protocol for Crown prosecutors will prioritize public safety and take a tough approach on crime caused by repeat violent offenders and gang activity. The protocol provides guidance to prosecutors to seek to detain any accused who is a threat to public safety, especially repeat violent offenders, unless the risk to public safety can be addressed by bail conditions. Prosecutors must evaluate the risk that the accused will commit another offence if released.

In addition, the attorney general is terminating the triage practice protocol, which has been met with public concern since it came into effect in 2017. Eliminating this protocol will better address violent crimes in the community and ensure all viable charges are prosecuted. This change is possible through government investments in the ACPS, which give the prosecutors resources to fully prosecute all matters involving violence.

“In the absence of needed bail reform from the federal government, Alberta is taking a zero-tolerance approach to ensure citizens are safe and secure in their communities. Violence, social disorder and open-air drug use is unacceptable, and we will do everything in our power to take back our streets and ensure they’re safe for Albertans,” said Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services.

These measures build on several actions Alberta’s government is taking to improve public safety, including increased investments in the Alberta Sheriffs, additional funding to hire 100 more street-level police officers in Edmonton and Calgary, and a $5-million grant to each city to improve public safety on their transit networks.

“There is no question that Edmontonians are concerned about the condition of their city’s public spaces, with open-air drug use and associated crime and violence a top issue. We have many government and community partners we lean on to support those impacted by mental health, addiction and victimization, and will continue to do so, but the EPS is taking a clear stance on the criminality and disorder being directly fed by the drug trade.” Dale McFee, chief, Edmonton Police Service

Together, these initiatives will help strengthen the Alberta justice system and the ability to prosecute crimes and keep repeat violent offenders off the street.

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