EDMONTON – A west Edmonton motel has been ordered to “do everything reasonably possible” to keep illegal drug activity and prostitution off its property.
A lengthy police into the Royal Western Motel, located in the area of 153 Street and 111 Avenue, began in November 2013.
Members of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods team launched the investigation after several complaints about drug trafficking and prostitution at the motel.
During the investigation SCAN members witnessed several drug transactions at the property, evidence of prostitution and habitual drug usage.
“During the course of the investigation we actually worked with the owners – or tried to work with the owners of the hotel, making recommendations on standard business practices which would assist them in eliminating this type of activity from the motel,” said Bob Andrews, director of provincial support and specialized services with ALERT.
“In fact, the occurrences kept continuing.”
Since February 2013, Edmonton police have responded to more than 500 calls for service at the Royal Western Motel. EPS has also been called in to investigate two shootings, at least one drug overdose and a series of robberies, assaults and drug-related complaints.
“Some of that activity would not likely be occurring had standard business practices been implemented at the hotel,” said Andrews.
“We like to work with the property owner and try to mediate that activity rather than going to a Community Safety Order. In this case SCAN investigators met with the owners of the motel, made recommendations, unfortunately those recommendations haven’t been implemented.”
Janice Gargas, the president of the High Park Community League, said there have been huge issues at the motel for years.
“I have watched this motel deteriorate for many years. I’ve lived in this community for 25 years and it’s caused a lot of problems for a lot of the residents.”
Gargas said the crime in the area has caused people to move out of the neighbourhood.
“It’s intrusive,” she said. “It’s making it very uncomfortable for a lot of people.”
A Community Safety Order has been granted against the motel. It went into effect Oct. 15 and will remain in place until July 15, 2016. Over the next nine months the motel will be open, but must abide by the following court-imposed conditions:
Do everything reasonably possible to prevent illegal drug activity or prostitution from continuing or reoccurring at the property;Adult guests must provide photo identification;Guests must register;No hourly rentals of rooms;Proper guest registry be maintained;Registry records be provided to SCAN and/or EPS upon request.
Anyone who suspects illegal activity is continuing at the Royal Western Motel is asked to contact SCAN at 1-866-960-7226 or visit the SCAN website here.
SCAN is dedicated to targeting problem properties that are used for illegal purposes.