We know it’s wrong, but we’ve always thought there’s something a little bit glamorous about British criminals hiding on the south of Spain.
In reality criminal suspects who have fled the UK are dangerous people. Although a change in the law in 2004 made it easier to capture British criminals on the run in Spain, Crimestoppers teamed up with Bell to produce a campaign to encourage the public to share information with the police.
Here’s how they did it:
Bell has designed a concept for charity client Crimestoppers to help rid Spain of British criminality, helping communities to feel safer whilst promoting that it is simple and safe to pass on information.
Launched in Alicante, ‘I Spy’ has been designed by Bell to capture the public’s attention and get them to act if they have information on British criminals on the run in Spain, and more specifically, the suspects featured on Crimestoppers’ Most Wanted section of their website.
For many years, Spain has been an appealing sunny hideaway for British criminals escaping justice. But this all changed in 2004 when European Arrest Warrants came into effect, making it easier to bring British criminals back into the UK’s criminal justice system.
Since its launch in October 2006, Operation Captura, led by Crimestoppers and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), have made 30 appeals for information on criminals involved in serious organised criminality.
The appeals have ranged from individuals wanted for murder to those wanted for major drug trafficking offenses. The appeals have resulted in 13 arrests to date.
Hannah Daws, head of communications at Crimestoppers explains the thinking behind the campaign, “Our Most Wanted webpage is hugely successful and has become well established in the public’s mind as a place to go to see appeals of British criminals on the run but up until now we’ve relied on key media outlets in the UK and Spain to promote the campaign.
“We are now moving Operation Captura into the Costa Blanca region, launching ten new appeals in Alicante and appointed Bell to produce marketing materials, including beer mats and posters, that could be distributed to the public at key sites in the region.”
Tim Cowan, group account director at Bell describes how they went about conceiving the campaign, "Crimestoppers appointed Bell to design and produce a creative way to generate impact and gain information from the local community.
People often see things that they choose to ignore so the 'I Spy' campaign was created to pull at that person's social responsibility and encourage them to act upon anything suspicious. The 'I Spy' concept presents this serious message in a fun way, drawing on the familiarity of the popular children's game.
"We can often be more creative for the third sector than the private sector and the 'I Spy' campaign is a perfect example of this.
"The campaign is already more successful than any other carried out by Crimestoppers with two arrests already being made thanks to anonymous information provided by members of the public."
As the eyes and ears of the community, it is vital that this campaign captures the public’s attention and gets them to act if they have information by calling a special Spanish freephone number or by using our anonymous online form.”
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