In the wake of Home Secretary Jack Straw's announcement last month
that an extra 9,000 officers are to be recruited nationally over the
next three years, police force PR departments across the Midlands have
united for a fresh recruitment campaign.
PROs from seven Midlands constabularies are involved in the co-ordinated
drive, which will target women and ethnic minorities.
Each was given a brief drawn up by West Mercia force personnel manager
Raj Patel, press officer Alan Peach and marketing manager Menna
Patel, who formulated the idea for a unified campaign and has taken the
role of chief co-ordinator, said: 'We believe a combined campaign would
be more effective in communicating the same message than if carried out
by each force independently.'
PR officers from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire,
Warwickshire, West Midlands and Staffordshire liaised with West Mercia,
issued press releases and posters, set up a call centre and web site,
and organised an advertising campaign in the local and national press
and regional cinemas.
'Our ideas were suggestive, not prescriptive, and the various
departments in each force were able to mould certain aspects of the
overall campaign to fit their areas,' said Patel, who reports to West
Mercia chief constable Peter Hampson.
'Our budget was incredibly small and we could not afford to use TV and
radio advertising. But by combining resources we have been able to
finance the kind of high-powered initiative not previously possible in
This will be a cost-effective way of achieving maximum impact,' Patel