ID scanning will be required before entering some Calgary liquor stores

May 3 2021, 10:56 am

Patrons at four liquor stores in Calgary will be required to scan their identification cards prior to entering, in an effort to reduce theft and help keep employees and customers safe.

The Calgary Police Service has partnered with Alcanna, a retailer of wine, spirits, and beer in Alberta and British Columbia, to introduce controlled entrances at select liquor stores in the city.

In order to unlock the door at locations with controlled entrances, customers will be required to scan valid ID using PatronScan, a digital system that validates government-issued identification.

Without valid ID, the user will not be granted access to the store. PatronScan is also equipped to detect falsely manufactured ID.

Acceptable forms of identification are as follows:

  • Driver’s licence issued in Alberta or another jurisdiction
  • Alberta identification card
  • Passport
  • Military identification card
  • Status card

According to a news release from the Calgary Police Service, a recent increase in violent thefts and robberies at liquor stores across the province has led to the introduction of these controlled entrances.

“The main concern we have is around the increased threats towards staff and customers that occur during these types of violent events,” said Sargent Nick Wilsher, of the CPS Crime Prevention Team.

“We know that other cities and provinces have seen a sharp decline in thefts and robberies following the use of systems such as PatronScan,” he added.

Alcanna decided to install PatronScan at several of their locations in Edmonton last year, and, following installation, there was a significant decrease in the number of liquor thefts that occurred.

Stats provided by Alcanna reveal that there was a 94% reduction in product theft and that zero robberies occurred from January 2020 to January 2021 at stores with the PatronScan system installed.

This was positive for the stores’ financial bottom line, and in creating a safer environment for staff and customers.

“The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police has called for a province-wide requirement of controlled entrances for all liquor stores,” said Tank Vander, president of Alcanna in the news release.

“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,” he continued.

Customers will need to scan their ID in order to access the following Calgary liquor stores:

  • ACE Liquor Crossroads (2148 18th Avenue NE)
  • ACE Liquor TransCanada (1440 52nd Street NE)
  • Liquor Depot Montgomery (5032 16th Avenue NW)
  • Liquor Depot North Hill (1632 14th Avenue NW)

The PatronScan system was activated at ACE Liquor TransCanada and ACE Liquor Crossroads on Thursday, April 29. Customers at the two Liquor Depot locations will see the system launched by mid-May.

Alcanna hopes to expand the PatronScan secured entrance pilot project to more of their locations across the city in the future, and encourages other retailers to join this crime prevention and public safety initiative.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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