Crimestoppers UK - Putpockets

  • Paul Pearson
Everyday over 1,700 of us have something taken from our bags or pockets. The solution to this is normally to use warning posters in areas where thieves operate. However posters can actually make matters worse as we tap our valuables to ensure they’re still there - sending a clear signal to pickpockets near by. Crimestoppers, the UK’s biggest Crime Prevention Group, needed to find a new way to make people aware of the risks and convince police forces to trial it across Britain.

Leaflets designed to look like smartphones, ipads and wallets were distributed in two major cities. But rather than putting the leaflets into people’s hands, they were put directly into people’s pockets or bags. The message on the leaflets was ‘If someone can get an iPhone into your bag, they can get one out.’

For every 100 leaflets dropped into pockets and bags, there were 93 visits to the site. Average dwell time was 3.32 minutes. The low cost pilot generated £7.5 million of free PR. We achieved our aim of starting a roll out across the UK; within just 24 hours of Putpockets being featured on Sky News, Crimestoppers had been contacted by another Police Force wanting to run it. The overwhelming publicity attracted lots of support and interest from Crime Prevention Groups across the country and there are now 3 Police forces who want to try Putpockets in their areas.