Positive ticketing to prevent youth crime


Based on the simple philosophy that recognizing and rewarding youth for good behaviour will inspire and motivate others to follow suit - Mac’s Convenience Stores (Mac’s) developed a positive youth relations program in 2007 designed to build relationships of trust between youth and police; while reducing incidents of crime at their stores.

This Positive Ticketing crime prevention initiative, dubbed Operation Freeze and Operation Heat are simply coupons for free beverages (Frosters in the summer and a selection of hot beverages in the winter months) given to Police Officers to issue youth observed engaging in good behaviour.

In addition to rewarding good behaviour by youth, the initiative offers opportunities for police to interact with youth in a non-law-enforcement way.

While some police officers will use the coupons to reward youth for things like wearing bicycle helmets, doing good deeds, participating in community activities, picking up trash, deterring crime or observing school crossing rules – others will use the coupons as icebreakers to establish a rapport with youth in their patrol area.

Though the reasons for being “ticketed” may vary, the ticket (coupon) will serve as the gateway to making a connection and build trusting relationships with youth.

The idea for this initiative was based on Mac’s need to create and maintain positive partnerships with the many communities and police services where their stores are located.

Since the introduction of the Mac’s Positive Ticketing Program in the summer of 2007, more than 500,000 Operation Freeze and Operation Heat coupons have been strategically issued by police to recognize and motivate Ontario’s youth for positive behaviour.

As a result, Mac’s has seen a steady decline in crime at their locations –increasing the overall safety of their employees and customers.

When it comes to preventing crime and protecting our employees, sometimes we need to evaluate our current practices and think outside the box – make a shift in your paradigm.

If you always do what you’ve always done, they you’ll always be what you’ve always been – only we can make a change.

Since the inception of this initiative, Mac’s has seen a steady decline in overall crime at our stores.

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