City centre crime campaign tops news agenda

A powerful media campaign, orchestrated by Lee Peck Media, put the concerns of high street retailers about a lack of police presence in a major city centre at the top of the news agenda.

GO! Southampton, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID) which represents some 650 businesses in the city centre, wrote a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, asking for police levels to be restored to what they were in 2009. In the last decade, police forces in the area have been subjected to a number of cuts – and business owners have been left to count the cost.

Lee Peck Media negotiated the exclusive story “Totally Lawless” in the Southern Daily Echo which achieved a front-page splash in both the print and online editions. Gaining momentum the story continued to break, securing coverage on TV, radio and a host of social media channels.

Giles Semper, Executive Director of GO! Southampton was interviewed by BBC South Today and one of the South coast’s leading radio stations, Wave 105. Giles was then featured on lead news bulletins on both the 6.30 pm and 10.30 pm South Today programmes, as well as throughout the day on Wave 105 news.

Following the coverage, a city summit was called in a bid to tackle the issue – the first of its kind for Southampton. The summit, held at St Mary’s stadium, saw councillors, police bosses, businesses, volunteers and health experts come under one roof to start drawing up plans to reduce crime in the city.

Becky Lewis, PR Account Director at Lee Peck Media and lead on the GO! Southampton account, said: “We knew by getting attention from the region’s biggest newspaper, we could make a really big impact on an issue that is affecting so many businesses in the area.

“Our strategy involved selling the story in as an exclusive which resulted in achieving the front page of the printed edition, accompanied by a double-page spread and the lead story online.

There have already been around 50 comments, with hundreds of likes and reactions to the article online together with the social media channels and the client and ourselves and the client have both received positive feedback directly.”

Giles Semper, Executive Director of GO! Southampton, said: “This is a highly sensitive subject and it was vital that it was aired in the appropriate way. Lee Peck Media knows the media inside out and their judgement is impeccable. The coverage has made the desired impact and strengthens our voice on behalf of our retailers.”