After sheltering prostitutes, drug users or criminals for more than 10 years, a house at 2547 Prior St. begins a new chapter.
The house has been sold to new owners under the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Act. A portion of the sale’s proceeds will help fund the administration of the act and fund crime prevention and remediation programs.
“The ruling is a huge victory for this neighbourhood,” said Victoria Police Chief Const. Jamie Graham, crediting its block watch program for neighbours’ vigilance.
“It was a frustrating problem for everyone and we are grateful for the province’s Civil Forfeiture office to help us resolve it.”
Victoria police have received more than 200 calls and made “countless” arrests since 2002.
Robert Earl Marson, the previous owner, is alleged to have purchased the home with the proceeds of crime, and used the home to facilitate criminal activity.
The Civil Forfeiture Act does not require a criminal conviction.
In 2006, B.C. became the second Canadian province with a civil forfeiture program. To date, it has amassed more than $20 million in proceeds. Since the start of 2011, the Civil Forfeitures office has initiative proceedings into 60 new files, referred from police.