Regina hookah lounge adopts new ID scanner to help bolster security

In an effort to reduce unwanted incidents at the Selam Ethiopian Restaurant and Hookah Lounge, ownership has installed a new ID scanning system that records patrons’ information.

READ MORE: Man assaulted with weapon in downtown Regina

ChangSha Night Net

The PatronScan device, located just inside the front door, scans drivers licenses to determine authenticity, the patron’s first and last names and the patron’s age.

A camera mounted on the scanner then takes a picture of the patron. All that information is kept within the PatronScan database for 90 days before being deleted.

The database includes information from hundreds of other bars that use the scanner in western Canada and the United States.

The database also keeps track of patrons who had been banned from other establishments. PatronScan’s director of sales & marketing, Graham Lancaster, said that spotting patrons who have caused trouble at other venues can eliminate problems before they begin.

“Over 95% of all incidents in bars and nightclubs are caused by less than 1% of patrons,” Lancaster said.

“Our belief is if you can identify that same 1%, wherever they are, you can reduce your incidents by 95% by keeping them out of the clubs.”

Selam Ethiopian Restaurant and Hookah Lounge is the first in the city to adopt the PatronScan system. Owner Alem Tegegne wants other Regina bars to install the scanner as well.

“I encourage everyone to have it,” Tegegne said. “If someone is not good for this establishment, they’re not going to be good for another one.”

Two assaults have taken place at the hookah lounge in the past two months. On May 30, a 23-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries after being stabbed.

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