Government of Yukon



FOR RELEASE
June 23, 2017

Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods unit takes action against drug trafficking and prostitution in Whitehorse

The Government of Yukon’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit carried out actions on nine separate properties in the last six months. The actions were a result of evidence that the properties were being used to traffic drugs or trade drugs for sex.

In May 2017, the SCAN unit initiated an investigation at a downtown Whitehorse property after receiving complaints from concerned citizens about drug trafficking. Investigators observed 128 suspicious visits indicative of drug trafficking in just over three days. Drug paraphernalia including used needles, pipes and discarded drug bags were found on the property. As a result of the investigation, investigators served the occupant with a five-day eviction order for illegal activity.

Investigators have also shut down properties where at-risk youth frequent and consume drugs and alcohol, and where some youth are believed to be exploited through prostitution. Shutting down these properties helps prevent vulnerable populations from being exploited.

Actions taken by the SCAN unit under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act combat criminal and illegal activity conducted from properties.

Individuals with concerns about illegal activities occurring on property in their community can make a confidential complaint by calling 867-456-SCAN (7226) or toll-free at 1-866-530-7226, or by submitting an online complaint form.

Quotes

“Investigations by the SCAN unit have led to significant action against drug-trafficking and other illegal activities in Whitehorse. The successful investigations are a result of information provided by citizens, along with months of diligent work by our investigators, and contribute to improved public safety and healthier communities.”

–Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee

Quick facts

  • In the last six months, the unit has shut down six properties in downtown Whitehorse, one in Porter Creek and two in the McIntyre subdivision. 
  • All properties were shut down by landlord-assisted evictions or warnings under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act.
  • All properties investigated involved suspected trafficking of cocaine, crack cocaine, prescription drugs and marijuana.
  • Two properties involved included suspected acts of prostitution where drugs and alcohol were believed to be exchanged for sex.
  • Three of the investigations showed evidence of youth frequenting the properties.
  • The SCAN unit works closely with the Yukon RCMP and shares information and intelligence where appropriate.
  • The unit also has strong partnerships with the City of Whitehorse Bylaw, Whitehorse Housing Authority and Family and Children Services.
  • The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act was created in 2006.
  • The SCAN online complaint form is a confidential tool for Yukon citizens to report suspected illegal activity on properties.
  • In 2016, 62 complaints from the public about illegal activity on property were investigated; the SCAN unit took action in 13 cases.
  • The unit investigates illegal activity involving drug trafficking, prostitution and bootlegging occurring on property which is adversely affecting a community or neighbourhood.

Learn more: Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods

Contact:

Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications
867-393-7478
sunny.patch@gov.yk.ca

Catherine Young
Communications, Justice
867-667-8050
catherine.young@gov.yk.ca


News Release #17-137