Police promote car-park safety to British public

The police and the Home Office are linking up for a £200,000 PR offensive to warn the public about using unsafe car parks.

The campaign, by Weber Shandwick, is the first time that the British Parking Association (BPA) has promoted its Park Mark standard to consumers.

The move comes in the wake of Home Office figures that reveal that one fifth of all crime in the UK is vehicle-related, with 22 per cent of this occuring in car parks, said BPA marketing and PR manager Simona De Michelis.

The drive will target regional and national consumer media through news and motoring sections, and kicks off in the spring with qualitative and quantitative research by KRC Research.

This will identify regional, social and gender trends in people’s car-parking habits and find out what makes them feel uncomfortable, said WS Scotland associate director Lesley Clark, who heads the account.

The Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) Safer Parking Scheme, which awards the Park Mark, was revamped last year to allow consumers to choose parking that has been assessed by safety criteria such as lighting, CCTV monitoring, staffing levels and location.

Senior police officers will be used as spokespeople for the campaign, to take advantage of the ‘kudos’ that ACPO’s involvement gives the scheme, said De Michelis.

About 1,800 of Britain’s 20,000 car parks currently hold the Park Mark, but she said it hopes this number will grow when operators see the effort it is placing on promoting the scheme to consumers.

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