Lloydminster youth will be targeted by an RCMP ticketing strategy this summer, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. In fact, the actions the police will be looking for will result not in penalties, but in rewards.
The Positive Ticketing Campaign is being done by the RCMP in conjunction with Beyond Borders Circle of Change and they will be awarding kids they see doing good in the community with vouchers redeemable at various businesses in town.
“Positive ticketing is a way to build relationships with youth in our community, so the RCMP are going to lead this year’s Positive Ticketing Campaign,” said Circle of Change member Kim Tradewell. “It will run throughout the summer and we’re possibly going to continue it throughout the winter if it shows success. This will be the sixth consecutive year, so I guess it’s just a great way to show that the community values youth and a good way to encourage good behaviour.”
If a member of the RCMP witnesses a local youth doing something positive, which could range from being active, wearing protective gear while riding a skateboard or volunteering, they will hand out a ticket with a voucher. The vouchers include pool passes, free poutine from New York Fries and Slurpees from the Co-op Gas Bar among other things.
The Positive Ticketing campaign originated in Richmond, B.C., and Tradewell says there is a lot of evidence of its effectiveness in encouraging good behaviour. Now Lloydminster is going into its sixth year with the campaign and she says they have been building on it as they go along.
“A lot of the youth are excited to get the ticket and be recognized by an RCMP member, or in the past we’ve had some school principals hand them out as well. So it’s a real honour for the youth to receive that positive feedback.”
The campaign was kicked off with a poster contest where elementary students in both school divisions painted posters and had them judged.
The winner has the picture they painted put onto the tickets and Tradewell says this is also a great way to get the kids involved.
“This year, we picked a top three, there were so many good ones, and if we run the campaign further past the summer, we will run another round of tickets with second- and third-place runner-ups picture posted on the ticket as well,” said Tradewell.