Direct mail can encourage people to take action or change their behaviour. A particular problem in many places across the country is called distraction burglary. This is a form of burglary where the offenders trick or dupe the occupant or distract them, allowing co-offenders to gain access and commit burglary. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to distraction burglary.
Direct mail activity
My task at Surrey Police was to raise awareness of distraction burglary and encourage residents to take crime prevention measures. I managed a direct mail campaign to 10,000 households, selected because they were located in crime hot spot areas and the residents were over 65 years old.
Research undertaken by an independent company demonstrated the effectiveness of this direct mail activity with respondents putting in place crime prevention measures. Key findings from the research include:
- The mailing received very high levels of recall particularly when compared with most other mailings;
- There was high recall of the crime prevention messages in the leaflet and 52% of the sample had read some or all of the mailing. 76% of the sample said they found the information useful;
- Most importantly 75% of the sample said they would be likely to take action as a result of the receiving the mailing.