||As part of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Youth Strategy, the Positive Ticketing Program was introduced in 2010 to reward youth by issuing “positive tickets” for positive behaviour. Youth are issued tickets for practicing personal safety (e.g., wearing bicycle helmets), doing various good deeds, participating in community activities, demonstrating community pride (e.g., picking up trash), deterring crime and observing school crossing rules. OPP officers also issue the tickets as an icebreaker, to develop a rapport with youth in their patrol areas. Police have partnered with Ontario’s Mac’s Convenience Stores, which redeem coupons for hot or cold beverages as part of the program. A communications strategy engages media and communities through two community-based crime-prevention initiatives:
- Operation Freeze, a summer and fall initiative that offers frosty beverages for positive youth behaviour; and
- Operation Heat, a winter and spring initiative that offers hot chocolate for positive youth behaviour.
||The positive tickets are tools that allow OPP officers to initiate relationships with youth, communities and local businesses. In addition to recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviour among youth, this program gives officers the opportunity to interact with youth using a less authoritative approach.
||Since the introduction of the Positive Ticketing Program, more than 300,000 Operation Freeze and Operation Heat coupons have been issued by police officers. There is outstanding public awareness of the program across Ontario. Officers delivering the program cite positive comments and examples of the program’s positive impact in support of youth. The program has also mobilized communities to recognize youth in other ways.
The Positive Ticketing Program initiative has shown that strategic, community-based partnerships can help to prevent crime and strengthen communities. The program is the largest and most recognized positive ticketing program in North America, and Operation Heat 2011 has been recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
||The Positive Ticketing Program relies on an in-kind donation from Mac’s Convenience Stores in Ontario, which redeems coupons for hot and cold beverages. Since in the summer of 2010, police have given out more than 300,000 coupons, the total value of which exceeds $500,000.
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