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Partnership to Combat Homeless Encampments

The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) in collaboration with Community Housing and the City of Medicine Hat Parks and Recreation Department is announcing a new collaborative effort to reduce homeless encampments found within areas of the City, and increase awareness of local housing programs. The ultimate goal of the program is to ensure that all parks and open spaces within the community are enjoyable for everyone.

The program will consist of members of the Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Section, Community Housing Outreach workers and Parks and Recreation, pro-actively searching areas of the City, and identifying homeless encampments. Once identified, occupants of homeless encampments will be provided with information on the City’s housing programs and be removed from the location. One of the goals of the team members will be to provide information and only rely on enforcement measures when necessary.

In order to ensure that homeless encampments are properly identified, the MHPS is requesting that the public contact the Police Service non-emergency line to report all homeless encampments at 403-529-8481 or on the MHPS Mobile App. This consistency in reporting will ensure that all identified locations are dealt with in a consistent manner.

Media Contact:

Insp Brent Secondiak
Operations Division
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8416

or

Jamie Rogers
Manager
Homeless & Housing Development Dept.

Ph: 403-928-1714

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Update on High Risk Incident at Police Point Park

On April 6, 2020, at approximately 6:20 PM members of the Medicine Hat Police Service responded to a report of a male with a firearm in Police Point park. An employee of the Nature Centre was advised by two people who were just walking out of the park that they saw a male who was trying to hide a firearm under his jacket.

Police attended, cordoned off the area, and evacuated the park. While evacuating the park other witnesses advised police that they had also observed a male with a firearm. Due to the elevated threat level, members of the Tactical Team utilized the Armoured Rescue Vehicle (ARV) and a drone to assist in searching the area for the male subject.

 

After an extensive search the male was located in a tent near the river bed. The male was cooperative and surrendered to police without incident. An initial search of the area revealed some loaded and spent ammunition as well as illegal drugs.

The 26-year-old male is held in custody and is facing a number of criminal charges. The matter is still under investigation.

The park is open to the public, however police officers will be in the area conducting a search. The MHPS would like to speak to witnesses who observed the male with the firearm and ask that they contact police at (403)529-8481.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt Rod Thompson
Patrol Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
PH: 403-529-8416

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High Risk Incident - Police Point Park

Members of the MHPS have recently cleared and reopened Police Point Park. Police have arrested one person in relation to this event; however, further investigation is ongoing.  More information regarding this incident will be released on the morning of April 7, 2020.

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Members of the Medicine Hat Police Service are responding to a high risk incident in Police Point Park and are asking for residents to avoid the area until further notice.

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Expanded Online Reporting Capabilities

The Medicine Hat Police Service has expanded online reporting capabilities to improve service delivery to the community while practicing safe distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some previous filters have been removed that prevented the reporting of incidents online and some categories have been expanded. Online reporting must be used for reporting a crime if the loss or damage is under $5,000 and there are no suspects. Reports can be filed online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once the information is submitted, a file number will be generated and final report returned to the email provided, usually within 24 hours. If you do not have internet access or have an email address, you can report the incident by calling (403) 529-8481.

The following report types should be submitted online:

  • Theft from vehicle (car prowling)– Up to $5,000 value of property
  • Theft of property– Up to $5,000 value of property
  • NEW - Theft of credit or debit card (when that is the only item missing)
  • Mischief to vehicle– such as vandalism
  • Mischief to property– such as vandalism & graffiti
  • Lost property– with the exception of government-issued ID such as passports. Please call (403) 529-8481 to report lost government issued documents.
  • Attempted stolen vehicle– regardless of damage value
  • NEW - Break & enter into unlocked premise other than residential (includes; sheds, parking garages, storage lockers, detached garages, etc.) Residential and commercial break and enters should be reported to (403)-529-8481.
  • NEW - Theft of mail (including packages from postal services and other delivery services)
  • NEW - Stolen property for sale online (including; Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook, etc.)

Online reports can be submitted via the MHPS mobile app, which is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices or submitted via the MHPS website (mhps.ca) or click direct link here.

For all other property-related offences, call the MHPS non-emergency line 403-529-8481, where officers are available to answer questions and take some reports over the phone.

To report a motor vehicle collision with no injuries call the Collision Reporting Centre at 403-581-1070.

Continue to use 9-1-1 for all emergencies and to report crimes in progress.

Media Contact:

Rita Sittler
Administrative Services Manager
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8416

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COVID-19 Public Health Order Enforcement

On March 25, 2020, the Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health made a public health orders requiring a mandatory self-quarantine and self-isolation period in some circumstances. Returning international travellers are required to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. If symptoms of COVID-19 appear during that time, then a minimum 10 day self-isolation period is also required.

A close contact of a person who is confirmed as having COVID-19 is subject to the mandatory self-quarantine and self-isolation requirements.

In addition, the Order requires people with symptoms of COVID-19, not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition, to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of the symptoms or until the symptoms are resolved, whichever is longer. An exception is provided if the person has tested negative for COVID-19 and has had no known exposure to it.

On March 27, 2020, the Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health made a public health order that included prohibiting gatherings in groups of more than 15 people.

Further details of all Alberta Chief Medical Officer Orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found at Alberta.ca, COVID-19 Information for Albertans.

To protect the health and safety of all Albertans, on March 26, 2020, law enforcement agencies were provided with authorities to enforce public health orders and issue tickets with a specified $1,000 fine for violations including:

• Mandatory 14-day self-quarantine and self-isolation for returning international travelers or close contacts of people with confirmed COVID-19. A definition of “close contact” has been added to section 1 of the Public Health Act by Ministerial Order M.O 612/2020 (March 25, 2020) and has also been included in the Order. Exceptions include people who have tested negative for COVID-19 and essential service workers in limited circumstances.

• Mandatory 10-day self-isolation for people with symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition, including; cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat. Isolation is required for a minimum of 10 days from the start of symptoms or until the symptoms are gone, whichever is longer.

• Restrictions on mass gatherings, identifying that gatherings of no more than 15 people are allowed, with exemptions for certain essential services and facilities (https://www.alberta.ca/essential-services.aspx) and public transit – if 2 meters of physical distancing is observed.

To report a concern of a breach of the preceding Public Health Orders pertaining to individuals, contact the MHPS non-emergency line at 403-529-8481, or file a complaint using the MHPS mobile app, via Crime Tips. The Provincial Offences Procedure Act, Procedures Regulation has been amended to authorize violation tickets to be issued for an offence under the Public Health Act, with the specified penalty for contravening a CMOH Order being $1,000.

Alberta Health Services will continue to investigate offences involving businesses, but will be working closely with members of MHPS. To submit a complaint regarding a business, report to AHS Public Health via online portal at: https://ephisahs.microsoftcrmportals.com/create-case .

As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, unfortunately so does disinformation and misinformation. For the most update to date, accurate information on the current situation in Alberta visit https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx .

For local updates and information from the City of Medicine Hat visit https://www.medicinehat.ca/what-s-new/covid-19-updates .

If you have any other questions or concerns contact the MHPS non-emergency center at 403-529-8481 or email mhps@mhps.ca.

Follow all Alberta Heath Services guidelines and recommendations including; wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face and stay home if possible. This is the safest course of action for you and your family, and offers the best protection for the most vulnerable members of the community. Call Health Link 811 if you have concerns about your health.

Take care of each other and let’s work together to #StopTheSpread!

Media Contact:

Rita Sittler
Administrative Services Manager
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8416

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Break and Enter

On March 27th at approximately 0450am members of MHPS Patrols were conducting property checks when they observed a suspicious vehicle with freshly sustained damage. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle and the suspect fled from police. Patrol Units attended the area and located the suspicious vehicle abandoned in the 2200block of 15 Avenue SE. Patrol officers along with assistance of the K9 unit quickly located and apprehended a 16 year old youth from Regina Saskatchewan. Further investigation by police determined that the vehicle was confirmed to be stolen from a local business in Medicine Hat that was just broken into minutes prior. Investigational efforts continued by police which also lead to the recovery of a stolen vehicle out of Regina which was recovered in the 2600 block of 15 Avenue SE Medicine Hat. Police continue to investigate an additional break and enter and property related offences that occurred earlier in the night while the 16 year old youth remains in custody facing numerous charges. Charges have not officially been sworn to at this time however the identity of the Youth will not be disclosed under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The Police Service would like to remind the public during the COVID19, pandemic to remain vigilant with securing valuable property and ensuring alarms systems and proper lighting are present. If suspicious vehicles or persons(s) are observed, please call the MHPS non-emergency line at 403-529-8481. The Police Service has increased property checks for both residential and business owners, and will continue to do so to ensure public safety during the current pandemic crisis.

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Impaired Driving

March 27, 2020 –Impaired Driving

On March 27th, 2020 at approximately 6:45 a.m. members of MHPS stopped a motor vehicle as a result of driving complaint. The complainant indicated the vehicle was driving erratically and posed a danger to others on the road way.

The driver, a 44 year old male from Saskatchewan, was subsequently arrested for impaired driving. Resulting from the investigations the driver had his licence suspended for driving while impaired by drug and criminal charges are pending laboratory results.

Impaired driving continues to be a major contributing factor in fatal and serious injuries in Alberta. On average, 6,000 people were convicted of impaired driving in Alberta each year for the last five years. And from 2008-2016, 574 people died and nearly 8,000 people were injured as a result of alcohol- or drug-impaired driving.

Impaired Driving Laws:

• Having a BAC of 0.08 or over within two hours of driving is a criminal offence.

• In Alberta, and in most other Canadian jurisdictions, a driver with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.079 may face provincial consequences through the Immediate Roadside Suspension Program.

• Cannabis limits are measured using nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in blood.

• There are criminal penalties for cannabis when a driver has over 2 ng/ml but less that 5ng/ml of THC in blood and when a driver has 5 ng/ml or more THC in blood.

• There are also criminal penalties for combined drug and alcohol impairment when a driver has 2.5 ng/ml or more THC combined with 50 mg/100ml or more alcohol in their blood.

To report an impaired driver, call 9-1-1.

Media Contact:

Staff Sergeant Thompson
Patrol Section
Medicine Hat Police Service

Ph: 403-529-8461

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Suspicious Package update

On March 24th, 2020 at approximately 12:30 p.m. an unknown female attended to the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) building located at 884 2nd Street SE, and entered the front foyer of the building with a large black bag. Once in the foyer, the female noted signs which advised that the front doors of MHPS were locked, left the bag in the area, and then proceed to immediately leave the area.

Upon noticing the bag, members of the MHPS were able to secure the surrounding area. Members of the MHPS Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) examined the bag, which was determined to be full of personal items.

MHPS would like to remind the public, that even though access to MHPS is limited due to current COVID-19 protocols, property should not be left unattended at the MHPS or anywhere else within the city. Report found property to the MHPS by calling the non-emergency line 403-529-8481.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt. Jason Graham

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Suspicious Package

The MHPS is investigating a suspicious package that was left in the front lobby of MHPS, located at 884 2nd St SE.  The public is asked to stay away from the Police Service until further notice 

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Fraud Prevention Reminder

The Medicine Hat Police Service would like to remind citizens to continue be aware of various frauds and scams, and keep an eye out for new ones related to COVID-19.

One of the most common types of reported frauds are mass marking scams, also known as phishing scams. The word phishing comes from the way it is done, the fraudster will pose as legitimate organizations by replicating a valid company and sending out emails that act as a lure to attract potential victims. The more lures (emails) used the more potential victims that can be reached. Phishing scams not only occur over the Internet but can also occur over the phone or traditional letters mailed to the general public.

With the increase in people working from home, it is more important than ever to be cautious about clicking on links from unknown senders. Never respond to unsolicited requests from a company requesting personal information and do not provide your financial information.

Unfortunately in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reports of several new scams popping up.  Some emails that claim to provide information about coronavirus and provide links to websites or include attachments. These links and attachments contain malware and are a threat to networks, systems, and data. Please be diligent and exercise caution when reviewing all emails and avoid clicking on suspicious links and attachments.  Others report receiving a phone call in which residents are advised they have tested positive to COVID19.  The caller then asks for credit card information.  Alberta Health Services will never call and ask for credit card information.  If you receive a similar call hang up immediately.

As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, unfortunately so does disinformation and misinformation.  For the most update to date, accurate information on the current situation in Alberta visit https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx.  

For local updates and information from the City of Medicine Hat visit https://www.medicinehat.ca/what-s-new/covid-19-updates

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website (www.antifraudcentre.ca) is another great resource and contains information about many different fraud types, including those directly related to #COVID19.

If you have any other questions or concerns contact the MHPS non emergency center at 403-529-8481 or email mhps@mhps.ca

Follow all Alberta Heath Services guidelines and recommendations and call Health Link 811 if you have concerns about your health

Stay safe! Take care of each other and work together to #StopTheSpread.

Media Contact:

Rita Sittler

Administrative Services Manager

Medicine Hat Police Service

Ph: 403-529-8416

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