Four liquor stores in Calgary are being outfitted with controlled entry systems that require customers to scan their ID before they come inside after a similar pilot project in Edmonton proved to be successful at combating theft.
Calgary police are working with the liquor retail company Alcanna, and with Patronscan, the firm that makes a digital system that validates government-issued identification before letting customers enter a store.
Alcanna says the stores in Edmonton that had the system installed achieved a 94 per cent reduction in theft and a complete elimination of robberies.
Calgary police say the four stores in Calgary that will take part in the project reported 245 incidents involving theft from January 2020 to April 2021.
Citywide, more than 2,400 incidents at Calgary liquor stores were reported to police in that time span.
“Violent attacks including the use of knives, weapons and bear spray are not uncommon during thefts and robberies in liquor stores,” police said in a release.
The four Calgary locations taking part in the project are:
- ACE Liquor TransCanada, 1440 52nd St. N.E.
- ACE Liquor Crossroads, 2148 18th Ave. N.E.
- Liquor Depot Montgomery, 5032 16th Ave. N.W.
- Liquor Depot North Hill, 1632 14th Ave. N.W.
“The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police has called for a provincewide requirement of controlled entrances for all liquor stores,” said Alcanna president Tank Vander.
“We are confident that this partnership with the Calgary Police Service to introduce controlled entrances in Calgary will show the same drastic reduction in thefts and robberies as our pilot program in Edmonton has demonstrated.”
The Patronscan device collects a customer’s name, age and photograph. The information is then stored on Patronscan’s secure server for 21 days. Store personnel cannot access the information and police officials can only do so if a crime has been committed.