Campaigning on Crime: Part Two

Crime is an issue that is once again on the rise, and from our experiences, is an issue that is coming up more and more on the doorstep.

As part of our campaigning advice, we are relaunching an updated Campaigning on Crime pack today with suggested advice on what you should be campaigning on locally over the next few months.

This month we are suggesting two simple things to do around crime:

1. Talk to businesses
2. Do an FOI on 101 calls

Talking to business

Small Businesses are the life blood of many of our high streets. By using the survey, you should be able to find out the issues they face and also gather more data.

While doing my own survey, I have had more replies about local businesses being affected than local residents. It is a group we often miss out from surveys and our leaflets.

Not everyone who owns a business in your area will be a resident, they are, through their customer base, more likely to discuss the fact that you had popped in to discuss local trading issues. Showing this level of interest in people will go a long way to improve your own personal reputation as someone who is listening to the whole community.

This comprehensive survey will allow us to get to the bottom of what impact crime has had on all of our local businesses – and, more importantly, what businesses need and want us to do to fight their corner. It should take no longer than 5 minutes for each respondent to fill in.

 Business Letter and survey – PagePlus and PDF
As always do think about the questions you are asking and what you will do with that information going forward – i.e. not just casework, but making sure you keep any residents who take part up to date with any other local crime issues, using it to ask questions at Full Council.
Making sure your survey is online.
As well as our offline version, more and more residents are getting used to having an online version – which you can also boost with a bit of a Facebook advertising.
A lot of local teams use google forms – it easily collects the data and produces an easy way to analyse the results Here is a useful how to guide from Google.
I have also started using Type form. It is easy to use and free if you ask no more than 10 questions and collect no more than 100 replies. An excellent how to guide can be found here and here is an example. Please let me know how you get on.
Ask a FOI question on 101 calls
In Stockport, there was a lot of talk as result of our recent survey that reporting crime via calling 101 was a waste of time. Having done a short survey, we found that 50% of people gave up on the call.
As a result, we have sent out a press release and have had some interest. At the same time an official FOI came from the Manchester Evening News which hit the headlines. We advise that you do the same in your area and use for potential questions at the Town Hall.
Your Casework
As a result of any surveying of residents, you will invariably get casework. It is vital that this followed up swiftly and replies sent to local residents.  The easiest way to report any issues to the police is to email your neighbourhood policing team with a shared email address – Things often then get passed onto the PC and the PCSO depending upon the issue.
Cllr James Baker said, “The Police also attend our ‘ward Forums’ so we chat to them there about issues. It is  a great way of keeping us both updated.”
Your examples
We’ve been hearing of some great successes around the country and wanted to share with you a few examples of what people are doing.
In Hull Cllr Ryan Langley has been mailmerging on individual roads names to the survey and had over 70 surveys returned from one street alone. Ryan has also done this excellent follow up letter on all of the issues reported. The back page also helpfully repeats the message for working hard.
Streetletter from Derringham Lib Dems- PDF
We have also seen this excellent survey from Westhoughton Lib Dems. You can view that here and see Bernadette’s Facebook post promoting the survey here.

A few of us in ALDC offices are doing this on the ground and we want you to join us in the campaign, but to see the whole pack feel free to look ahead here.

We are really keen to have your feedback on the pack. Please let Claire Halliwell know if you have used the pack and if there is anything else which you would like to see for future publications. You can email me directly at claire.halliwell@aldc.org.

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