West Edmonton Mall introduces youth escort policy

Shopping can be a great escape for some. Getting a couple of hours away from parents and spending time with friends can be a highlight of the week for many teens.

However, for anyone under 16, that will no longer be the dream while attending West Edmonton Mall.

WEM has recently introduced a Youth Escort Policy, which means everyone under the age of 16 will now need to be accompanied by an adult — someone 18 or older.

“At West Edmonton Mall, we’re committed to creating a safe and enjoyable environment for all our guests. Our Youth Escort Policy helps promote responsible supervision, ensuring that youth under 16 are accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old,” said WEM in a statement.

“While this has been an informal policy for years, we regularly review our policies, address updates, and then formalize as required. This policy does not affect youth who are working at the Mall or visiting the mall with the purpose of actively shopping, dining, or attending our attractions.”

With the new policy, anyone under 16 years old might be asked by security to leave the mall.

The policy states anyone appearing 18 years or younger should be prepared to show West Edmonton Mall security a form of photo identification. Photo IDs listed include:

  • Alberta or Out of Province Driver’s License;
  • Alberta or Out of Province Identification Card;
  • Passport;
  • Armed Forces Identification Card;
  • Canadian Citizenship Card;
  • Certificate of Indian Status Card;
  • Canadian Permanent Resident Card;
  • West Edmonton Mall Employee ID Card.

WEM says school ID cards will not accepted, as well as temporary licenses or identification cards that don’t have a picture.

The policy also states that one adult can accompany up to six youths 16 or under.

Violence and sexual assaults at the mall

West Edmonton Mall has seen some violent incidents over the last few months.

In August 2023, three men were injured in a shooting in the mall, which also forced a lockdown.


In early December, the mall was again put into lockdown after police received a report that a man was believed to have a gun.

Police say in this incident, no shots were fired, and they were quickly able to take the individual into custody.

In February, a 14-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man to hospital with serious injuries following a stabbing at the mall.

Police say an altercation took place, which led to the two being stabbed by a group of four men.

At the time, two of the four were taken into custody.

WEM has also seen sexual assault incidents. Last year alone, police charged at least three people due to alleged incidents in the waterpark.

Last July, EPS charged an adult and a teen on the same day after security received multiple reports of groping incidents.

Police said while they were investigating initial reports, they were approached by a young teenage girl, who informed them that she was groped by a different individual.

EPS charged a 25-year-old man and a teenager in connection to the reports.

And in August, police charged a 41-year-old man in connection to four alleged incidents of sexual assault in the World Waterpark.

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