Calgary, AB,

Media Advisory: CPS partners with Alcanna to combat increasing liquor store thefts in Calgary

Representatives from the Calgary Police Service, Alcanna Inc. and Patronscan will take part in a virtual news conference this morning, Thursday, April 29, 2021, at 11 a.m., to discuss a new partnership and crime prevention initiatives aimed at reducing violent robberies and thefts at Calgary liquor stores.

Speakers will include:

  • Deputy Chief Chad Tawfik, Calgary Police Service
  • Sergeant Nick Wilsher, Calgary Police Service
  • Tank Vander, President, Alcanna Inc.
  • Alberio Bathory-Frota, CEO, Patronscan

News Release: CPS partners with Alcanna to combat increasing liquor store thefts in Calgary

A recent increase in violent thefts and robberies at liquor stores across the province has led to the introduction of controlled entrances at four liquor stores in Calgary. Last year, at several of their locations in Edmonton, liquor retailer Alcanna Inc. made the decision to install Patronscan, a digital system that validates government-issued identification (ID).

The system aims to deter theft and keep employees and customers safe by creating a controlled entrance. Prior to entering the store, customers are required to scan valid ID to unlock the door. The system is also equipped to detect falsely manufactured ID. Without valid ID, the user will not be granted access to the store.

The following are acceptable forms of ID:

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

Program Success

Following the introduction of the Patronscan system at select liquor stores in Edmonton, there was a significant decrease in the number of liquor thefts that occurred.

Stats provided by Alcanna, reveal there was a 94 per cent reduction in product theft and that zero robberies occurred from January 2020 to January 2021, at stores with the system installed. The outcome was positive for the financial bottom line and created 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,” says Tank Vander, President of Alcanna. “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 Calgary Police Service is supportive of the installation of a digital system to help prevent crimes against liquor store employees and customers during robberies. Violent attacks including the use of knives, weapons and bear spray, are not uncommon during thefts and robberies in liquor stores.

“The main concern we have is around the increased threats towards staff and customers that occur during these types of violent events,” says 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 adds.

According to our statistics, from January 2020 to April 2021, the four Alcanna liquor stores that will have a Patronscan system installed reported a total of 245 incidents involving theft. More than 2,400 incidents at Calgary liquor stores were reported to police in the same time frame.

Calgary Locations

Customers will need to scan ID to access the following locations:

  • ACE Liquor TransCanada, 1440 52 St. N.E.
  • ACE Liquor Crossroads, 2148 18 Ave. N.E.
  • Liquor Depot Montgomery, 5032 16 Ave. N.W.
  • Liquor Depot North Hill, 1632 14 Ave. N.W.

The system will be activated at ACE Liquor TransCanada and ACE Liquor Crossroads on Thursday, April 29, 2021. The other two stores will see the system launched by mid-May. Alcanna hopes to expand the Patronscan secured entrance pilot project to other locations across the city in the future and is encouraging other retailers to join this crime prevention and public safety initiative.

Personal Information

Patronscan is a popular system that has been used for more than a decade in several bars and nightclubs in Calgary and across North America.

In compliance with section 69(2) of the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act (GLCA), when an Alcanna customer scans valid ID before entering a store, Patronscan collects the customer’s name, age and photograph. The information is stored on Patronscan’s secure server for 21 days.

If a crime is committed on Alcanna property, law enforcement, such as CPS, are the only authorized party granted access to the personal information of the individual who committed the crime. After 21 days, the information is permanently deleted. Alcanna employees do not have access to the personal information, nor will the information be used for marketing purposes or shared with any third-party.

About Alcanna Inc.

Alcanna is one of the largest private sector retailers of alcohol in North America and the largest in Canada by number of stores – operating 174 locations in Alberta and British Columbia. The Company’s majority-owned subsidiary, Nova Cannabis Inc. (TSXV: NOVC), also operates 53 cannabis retail stores in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

About Patronscan

Patronscan is the trusted choice for ID authentication that ensures the safety of patrons and private property. With offices located in Australia, Canada, the UK and the United States, Patronscan has partnered with governments and businesses across the globe to build trustworthy relationships and safe environments through identity verification. 118 million scans later, the team is more committed than ever to protect consumer privacy and organizations through accurate and reliable ID verification.

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