Cambridgeshire Constabulary: Get Closer

Launch date: 4th January 2012


The Get Closer campaign uses the force’s annual strategic assessment to produce a seasonal crime trend calendar to help effectively and efficiently deliver targeted crime prevention marketing communications to reduce the number of victims of crime across Cambridgeshire.

Identifying the most problematic crimes the force deals with through crime trend analysis, the Get Closer campaign has made our approach to communications smarter and more cost efficient.  Using the data to identify victim and offender profiles, locations of offences and key times crimes are committed, we ensure we are targeting the right people with the right message at the right time in the best way we can.

To share the costs and resources, in difficult economic times, we identified key stakeholders and partners to work with to help us deliver innovative free or low cost marketing activity, to prevent crimes being committed and reduce the number of victims in the county.

Strategy and details of activity

Get Closer is about using the strategic assessment to identify the crime trends faced, looking at when we are most affected by them and where they happen. The seasonal crime trend calendar helped focus our activity, to reach the right target audience with our messages, in a cost effective way.

The analysis showed shoplifting was a problem across the force, and attracted two main types of thief – prolific and juvenile first-time offenders.

To reduce crime in this area, we identified the goods most frequently stolen and from which shops, concentrating our efforts in those locations with highly-visible marketing tools directly outside the shop, banners and posters in the entrance and bespoke shelf-edge artwork in the aisles where the most commonly stolen goods are taken.  
To further deter the juvenile first-time offender, the analysis showed they were usually students achieving good grades and shoplifting ‘for fun’.  We advertised on toilet doors in schools – reaching a lot of the potential offenders, Facebook advertising to students in the schools with the most offenders and radio adverts – to be played during the school run, all with the message: ‘It doesn’t matter how many A*s you get, no-one wants to employ a thief’.


Targeted crime prevention campaigns ran throughout the year, according to the seasonal crime calendar, defined by the analysis, and a library of materials and tools have been created to provide some longevity to what is going to be an on-going campaign.

Crime fell across the county in 2012/13 by 10%, meaning there were more than five thousand fewer victims compared to the same period the previous year.

While all the credit for the drop in crimes being committed cannot be attributed to the Get Closer crime prevention campaign, it did focus around key crime trends, including burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, arson and theft – all of which saw a reduction in offences being committed.

  • Burglary fell by 1%
  • Robbery fell by 5%
  • Vehicle crime fell by 5.6%
  • Assault with injury fell by 21.2%
  • Criminal damage fell by 18.6%
  • Arson fell by 36.1%
  • Theft and handling fell by 5.3%

Business outcome

In these austere times we have managed to create and implement a crime prevention campaign across Cambridgeshire, on a limited budget, which has supported the force in its aim to reduce the number of victims of crime.

Using the analysis, we have been able to give the most appropriate message to the right audience, at the right time, thereby providing people with information to help them stay safe, reminding offenders that we won’t tolerate criminal behaviour and ultimately reducing the number of crimes committed and therefore the number of victims.

Working closely with partners and stakeholders to share messaging, we have been able to utilise their distribution channels and engagement opportunities to reduce the costs of implementing our campaign and reach a more targeted audience.

The crime prevention marketing communications strategy has been embedded into business as usual and continues into 2013/14, in line with the seasonal crime trend calendar.

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