By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor
Mac’s Convenience Stores, a division of Alimentation Couche-Tard in Canada, has seen continued success using a mural project to combat crime at its stores, and introduced a fifth store to the program just last week in Brampton.
“It’s been phenomenal,” said Sean Sportun, ICPS, manager, security & loss prevention for Mac’s Convenience Stores, of the program, which he introduced in 2012. “We had some real challenging issues up in Thunder Bay in 2012 and I had this idea of engaging local graffiti artists to put up a mural.”
The theory behind the project was to use graffiti art as a community-engagement activity, encouraging the residents in the community to feel some ownership for the store, thus making them less likely to commit crimes against the store.
“Since we put the first mural up in Thunder Bay, we have had not one issue in that store,” Sportun said. The program was so successful that Mac’s repeated it at four stores—with identical results at each. At a store in Rexdale in a plaza setting, crime not only vanished at the Mac’s convenience store, but it also decreased at the plaza as a whole. At a store in Keswick plagued by graffiti, once the mural went up, the graffiti stopped.
Mac’s expects to see similar results at its Brampton store. Mac’s also institutes a Crime Buster program that involves using video images on social media to take criminals off the streets and has had tremendous results in reducing crime at the stores. Stay tuned to our June issue for statics and information on how Mac’s is cutting external and internal theft.