Students at two Edmonton high schools are being encouraged to report offences to Crime Stoppers using their smartphones.
The pilot project, launched at Queen Elizabeth and Archbishop O’Leary High Schools on Thursday, lets students report offences like locker theft, drug trafficking, vandalism and sexual assault by anonymously texting Crime Stoppers.
Edmonton Police Const. Kendall Booth believes smartphone use will eliminate the stigma of being a "rat".
“As far as that issue with ratting out their friends, it's more of you're doing the right thing, you're protecting your community, you're protecting your school which is also your community,” he said.
Grade 12 student Marie Bolianastz thinks that students will text their tips.
"It's anonymous so nobody knows that you're the one telling them,” she said.
“It's not like they're gonna come back at you and start bullying you because you told on them."
About 2,800 students attend the two schools chosen for the pilot project. Archbishop O'Leary and Queen Elizabeth schools are six blocks apart and police say this creates the largest concentration of high school students in the city.
The program will be evaluated at the end of the school year to see if it should be expanded.