Fortification found in Nine Mile River home

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Police searched a home on Renfrew Road in Nine Mile River, in relation to an attempted murder on New Year's Eve. During the search, they noticed fortifications in the home, specifically thick, heavy metal bars across the doors built into the door frames, and asked the province to have them removed using the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act.

"The focus here is on people who install barricades on their windows and doors when they are involved in criminal activity. They do this to make it harder for police to get into a building," said acting Justice Minister Maurice Smith.

"That also makes access difficult for other emergency responders. This puts everyone in danger including firefighters, paramedics, occupants of the building and entire neighbourhoods."

Under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, the province has the power to order that fortifications on a property, such as bars or metal plating on windows and doors, bulletproof glass and razor wire, be removed. This provision is used to remove excessive fortifications installed at properties being used for crime.

This is the first time the province has used this section of the legislation since it was enacted in 2007.

Under the legislation, owners of the property have two weeks to appeal the order to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

In this case, the owners of the property co-operated with the order. Workers removed three metal barricades from doors in the home Wednesday, Jan. 9.

The Department of Justice encourages people to report problem properties by calling, toll free, 1-877-357-2337. Authorities can investigate and, if necessary, shut down residences or businesses that are regularly used for illegal activities.

There have been more than 900 complaints since the Safer Communities and Neighbourhood Act began in 2007. There have been 11 formal evictions using community safety orders and 120 voluntary notices to vacate.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Supreme Court.In, Department of Justice

Geographic location: Renfrew Road

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