Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta (CISA)
Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta (CISA) acts as a central hub for strategic analysis and intelligence sharing on organized and serious crime in Alberta. CISA links organizations responsible for intelligence gathering, criminal investigations, and provincial and federal law enforcement.
The primary mandate of Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta (CISA) is to strategically support the efforts of the law enforcement community in its efforts to detect, prevent, disrupt and suppress serious and organized crime in Alberta. In order to do so, CISA assesses the threat posed by organized crime and informs partner agencies of it.
CISA aims to collect real-time information on all serious and organized crime activities occurring or under investigation in the province, so that it can conduct timely and relevant strategic analysis in support of those investigations. It relies on partnerships with various law enforcement and regulatory agencies. To complement this information sharing, CISA also works independently to gather information from various data sources provincially and nationally.
+ SCRAP METAL FAQs
WHY HAS ALBERTA DECIDED TO RESTRICT SALES OF SCRAP METAL?
- Metal theft is a serious threat to public safety and critical infrastructure. It can:
- Interfere with critical infrastructure, such as telecommunication services, emergency communications, and transportation systems; and
- Result in loss of life, serious injury, and serious adverse economic impacts for both governments and private companies.
- Criminals often select telecommunications and industrial sites in order to steal conductive metals and convert them to cash. Thefts can leave sites with exposed electrical components that pose serious risks to people entering the site who may be unaware that the electrical infrastructure has been destabilized.
- First responders, the public, work crews, and employees repairing damaged infrastructure are put at risk. The risk can include electrocution.
- While the value of stolen scrap metal is typically small, the damage to property and infrastructure far exceeds the value of the stolen metal.
IF A PERSON WALKS IN, RIDES A BIKE, OR TAKES A TAXI, WHAT SHOULD BE REPORTED AS VEHICLE INFORMATION? OR ARE WE NOT ALLOWED TO SERVE THOSE CUSTOMERS?
- The intent of the legislation is to regulate restricted metals. The customer must have a government-issued ID that provides the information on who they are and other pertinent information related to the sale of restricted metals.
- The regulations require that the make, model, and license plate of the seller’s vehicle be recorded by the recycler. The regulations do not state that restricted metals must be delivered by vehicle. In the event of a taxi, the make, model and license plate can be recorded.
- In the case of walk-ins or people on bicycles, information on a make, model and license plate would not have this information, but additional information could be recorded in the free text area of the database.
IN NOVEMBER, WHEN ELECTRONIC REPORTING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT IS REQUIRED, DO WE NEED TO UPLOAD SCANNED COPIESOF SELLERS’ IDs?
- There is no requirement for copies of ID as per the regulations. The information contained in a government-issued ID is what is required to be entered into the RAPID database for those selling regulated metals.
- Photos of the seller are not a requirement under the regulations.
WHY ARE CASH PAYMENTS UNACCEPTABLE?
- The main driver for scrap metal thieves is the prospect of turning over the metal for untraceable cash. Due to their value, non-ferrous metals have become a desired target of thieves looking to make a quick profit. Research has shown that often these thieves are supporting their substance abuse or drug addictions and they seek out repeated and quick access to amounts of cash to purchase illegal drugs, which they have previously readily obtained by selling stolen metals.
- In order to mitigate the issue of quick illegal profits by thieves, the regulations have prohibited cash payments on metals identified in the regulations. Cash transactions are difficult to trace, thus impeding law enforcement investigation efforts. Prohibiting cash transactions discourages thieves from bringing stolen metal to a recycler or dealer, and acts as a deterrent from stealing it in the first place.
- The second goal of the legislation is also to protect the recyclers from becoming the victims of fraud when thieves sell stolen metal to recyclers. These recyclers would have no recourse to recover lost revenue when a law enforcement investigation is initiated.
WHY WAS THIS DECISION MADE WITHOUT OPEN CONSULTATION WITH THE RECYCLING INDUSTRY?
- Scrap metal dealers and recyclers were consulted via surveys and some in-person feedback sessions prior to the amendments and regulations coming into effect.
CAN AN ENTIRE, INTACT VEHICLE STILL BE PURCHASED WITH CASH?
- Stolen metals being sold for cash most often do not include entire vehicles. However, vehicle parts such as catalytic converters and batteries are commonly stolen and sold to recyclers.
- VIN plates have also been stolen and used for illegal re-VINning and vehicle cloning.
- The City of Calgary’s Business License Bylaw has requirements for the recording and reporting of VIN numbers on scrapped vehicles.
- While not included in the regulation’s information recording or reporting requirements, a vehicle contains a variety of types of metal and it is recommended as a business best practice to record the VIN number of the vehicle that is being recycled in order to document the purchase.
WILL OUR EXISTING SOFTWARE BE COMPATIBLE WITH BWI?
- Please contact BWI as they are the subject matter experts and will be able to assess and provide support for your systems.
- 1-877-404-3368, Extension 1 or by email at [email protected]
CAN AN ON-SITE PRIVATE PAYMENT ATM AT A RECYCLER’S PLACE OF BUSINESS BE USED TO PAY CASH TO SELLERS FOR METALS SOLD TO RECYCLERS?
- Private payment ATMs may be video recorded for facial identification purposes.
- If the private payment ATM is connected electronically to a recorded transaction of the sale of the metal, this would meet the requirements of traceable currency detailed in the regulations under Section 5.
- If the private payment ATM is not connected to the metal sales transaction and is simply a standalone private payment ATM to dispense cash, it would not meet the requirements of traceable currency as detailed in the regulations under Section 5.
SOME RECYCLERS STATE THAT THEY BUY CARS FROM INSURANCE COMPANIES THAT ARE CRUSHED. ARE THESE EXEMPT FROM REPORTING?
- Yes, the Act and regulations do not apply to the purchase or receipt of crushed vehicles or other scrap metal from a corporate entity.
SOME RECYCLERS STATE THEY PURCHASE ITEMS FROM FARM CLEANUPS. ARE THESE REQUIRED TO BE REPORTED?
- If the material is just general scrap metal, and the farm is not incorporated, then it would need to be recorded if the metals being purchased were restricted. If the farm was incorporated, then the purchase is exempt.
IS A P.O. BOX ACCEPTABLE FOR A CUSTOMER’S ADDRESS?
- Regulation 3(1)(ii) states: The recycler must obtain and record the person’s address.
- A post office box is not considered to be a person’s current physical address.
- A physical address must be recorded.
DO VEHICLES PURCHASED AT AUCTIONS NEED TO BE REPORTED?
- Full vehicles are not considered scrap metal as per the regulations. An auction house selling items, if a corporate entity, would be exempt.
+ PROVINCIAL THREAT ASSESSMENT
While CISA collects information and disseminates intelligence reports throughout the year, much of its efforts go into producing a Provincial Threat Assessment (PTA) each April. This report is shared among high-ranking members of police organizations and outlines low-, medium- and high-threat organized crime groups operating in the province. It also identifies individual Persons of Intelligence Interest who may be influencing crime trends.
Each province in Canada has its own criminal intelligence service and produces its own PTA, which CISA receives and cross-references. The federal government also operates Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, which produces a National Threat Assessment.
+ Social Network Analysis
With the help of Dr. Martin Bouchard and his team from the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., CISA incorporated Social Network Analysis (SNA) into its Provincial Threat Assessment for the first time in 2018.
SNA is the process of investigating social structures through network and graph theories. It characterizes networked structures in terms of nodes (individual actors, people, etc.) and ties (relationships or interactions).
The total network observed in the 2018 PTA included 1,667 people and 3,098 dyads, or connections between two people.
+ Automated Criminal Intelligence Information System
The Automated Criminal Intelligence Information System (ACIIS) is the Canadian law enforcement community’s national database, which contains information and intelligence on serious and organized crime from across the country. Law enforcement agencies at all levels contribute to the collection, analysis and sharing of this information.
CISA is an active contributor to ACIIS, having contributed 425 entries to the system during the 2017-18 fiscal year.
CISA relies on a wide range of partner agencies to contribute information on criminal activities in the province, including:
- Calgary Police Service
- Lethbridge Police Service
- Edmonton Police Service
- Medicine Hat Police Service
- Camrose Police Service
- Alberta Fish and Wildlife
- Taber Police Service
- Calgary Airport Intelligence Team