Crime and Social Disorder


Social disorder and crime against people and property are on the rise in Calgary and the impacts are being felt across the city. These behaviours are a by-product of several factors, particularly the economic recession and a rise in drug use. The opioid crisis is particularly visible in Calgary, as the city has the highest rate of overdoses and overdose deaths in the province.

In the past, the City mitigated social disorder in the downtown through a collaborative program called Clean to the Core, which included Calgary Police Service (CPS), social organisations, community stakeholders, and all City departments. This program boosted community policing, improved public spaces to make them safer/more desirable, and helped connect vulnerable people with support services. More recently, the City approved additional funding to the 2018 CPS operations budget. A broader community strategy is still needed to address crime, social disorder, and drug use that works primarily on the root causes of these issues. Enforcement on its own is expensive and ineffective, so we are emphasizing a coordinated approach for long-term improvement.

In July 2018, I was pleased to co-sign a motion by Mayor Nenshi entitled “Community Action on Mental Health and Addiction”. The objective was to develop a prevention-focused strategy to help address the cycle of addiction and the mental health issues that are often associated with it. With $25 million in funding, we will be looking at ways to address homelessness, improve social support services, boost community outreach, create safer public spaces, and more.

We still need assistance from citizens to help us create a vibrant and safe city for all. Calgarians should call:

  • 2-1-1: For social programs and services.
  • 3-1-1: To report encampments or request needle/drug paraphernalia clean-up.
  • 9-1-1: If a violent or criminal situation is occurring.
  • (403) 266-1234 (CPS non-emergency): If there are no immediate threats to anyone’s safety, but escalation is possible.
  • (403) 998-7388 (Alpha House DOAP team): To report individuals who appear to be intoxicated, loitering, trespassing, or rough sleeping but otherwise appear peaceful and non-aggressive.

We must endeavour to minimize crime and social disorder in our City so all Calgarians and visitors can feel safe and welcome.

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