CAMPAIGN: Lobbying - Survey shows crime against youth is rising

Client: Victim Support/Direct Line PR Team: In-house comms with Markettiers4DC Campaign: Young Victims of Crime Timescale: September 2002 - February 2003 Budget: £10,000

Very little is known about the true level of crime against young people. The British Crime Survey produced by the Home Office does not include statistics or information about crimes committed against people under the age of 16. But, research from the Youth Justice Board, Crimestoppers and Victim Support suggests that levels of crime committed against this group are considerably higher than those for adults.

Objectives

To raise awareness of the impact of crime on young people. To assess the need for a support service aimed at young people. To lay foundations for future partnerships with companies willing to invest in a dedicated service.

Strategy and Plan

Insurer Direct Line has worked with Victim Support for two years, helping to fund research and PR. Both organisations wanted to learn more about young victims of crime. NOP was commissioned to survey more than 400 young people aged 12 to 16 about their recent experiences of crime, the support available to them, and their awareness of Victim Support.

Among the survey findings were that one-in-four young people had been a victim of crime. The report also showed a positive response to having a support service for young victims of crime, perhaps in schools. These two findings were to be the key messages.

The survey results were released during Victim Support Week in mid-February.

The in-house PR team prepared and mailed press packs, and briefing materials were supplied to 400 local affiliated Victim Support charities to allow them to incorporate the report findings into their PR activity.

Markettiers4DC produced a pre-recorded audio feature to sell into the regional broadcast media, backed up with media interviews with Victim Support and Direct Line spokespeople. Online press kits were produced for internet journalists.

Measurement and Evaluation

A prompted recall survey - where the answer can only be yes or no - by NOP after the campaign asked a random sample of 1,000 people if they had seen or heard anything about the campaign, and a third said they were aware of it.

Media monitoring results are still coming in, but so far coverage of the campaign has appeared in almost every national newspaper and on BBC TV news bulletins and national radio, including an in-depth debate on Radio 5. Spokespeople for the campaign were featured on 108 radio stations and 51 local newspapers.

Results

Enquiries from the public have risen by 25 per cent since the campaign, and the number of volunteer applications has risen by 40 per cent. A major financial service provider has also expressed an interest in funding the service for young victims of crime, and it is hoped a pilot scheme can be set up this year. Victim Support is also planning to put pressure on the Home Office to fund a more substantial survey.

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