D&AD BBC Crimewatch

This was my entry for D&AD for the BBC CrimeWatch brief, which was to design a way to keep people engaged with the programme outside of broadcasts, using the existing services. BBC CrimeWatch doesn’t follow a regular schedule and due to legal reasons the programme is only avaliable on catchup for a short time or not at all.

My idea had two parts;

1. Permanently integrate CrimeWatch with iPlayer

How will it work?
The CrimeWatch idents on the following pages will replace the current channel idents shown before programmes on BBC iPlayer.

Utilise the ident/trailer space at the beginning of shows to keep the appeals and wanted people on the users mind and allow them to reach people who may not have seen the episode. The length would depend on the type of CrimeWatch ident (appeal, CCTV and wanted faces). For safety reasons the CrimeWatch idents would not be shown on CBBC and Cbeebies players or
shows, for the extra protection the CrimeWatch idents could be restricted to shows that require users to be a certain age. iPlayer notifications would be sent to the app users the day before CrimeWatch would be shown on TV, the day of and when and how long it would be available on iPlayer. Notifications can be easily disabled by the user preventing it becoming an annoyance.

Why will it work?
More people are using iPlayer and it is avaliable on more platforms so it would reach more people

With the increase in the number of people using the iPlayer service and the range of devices that it is accessed on proves that integrating CrimeWatch with iPlayer could work as keeping people engaged with the show between broadcasts. Recent statistics show that there are varied age groups using the iPlayer service and an equal split between male and female viewers.

2. Integrate CrimeWatch into the BBC News app

How will it work?
A CrimeWatch tab would be added to the existing app giving users continuous updates if they chose to use the feature.

Integrating CrimeWatch into the BBC News app would have the information from the BBC CrimeWatch website and the BBC CrimeWatch twitter account. The integration would be the addition of a CrimeWatch tab at the top of the app that would blend in with the rest of the app. It would also be a permanent option in the ‘my news’ section allowing people to make it
apart of their newsfeed. The integration would make use of the notifications that can be sent from the BBC News app with the word CrimeWatch in all caps as the first line of the notification to indicate that it is related to CrimeWatch. Notifications can be easily disabled by the user preventing it becoming an annoyance to users.

Why will it work?
It would be a subtle change to an existing service that wouldn’t have a major impact to how it is used but would engage alot of people outside the broadcasts


The ident for the appeals using just images would last for around 10 seconds but could be longer if needed. This is longer than the current idents but trailers for new programs are shown before on iPlayer and last about 30 seconds

The ident for the CCTV. The CCTV ones are different and will use the actual CCTV clips from the CrimeWatch website as they vary in length there would be a button to skip after 5 seconds similar to the skip option available on Youtube.

The ident for the wanted faces. This would be similar to the appeals ident and last about 10 seconds.


By adding a CrimeWatch tab to the BBC News app it will keep people connected after the episode and isn’t intrusive to users. The option could also be added to the ‘My News’ section of the app giving users the option to receive the updates on the cases as part of their news feed.

There would be a summary of all the cases from the previous episode. The different sections with the appeals, wanted faces and CCTV would be accessible through the app too with all the information but would be a condensed version as to what is available online. This is an example using the episode summary. The appeals, wanted faces and CCTV from the episode would be listed with blue ‘tags’ stating the type of case it is. The location of the crime will be in the same blue as the tag. This is usually where the news category is in the app.


With the broadcasts not having a regular slot and only airing every 5-6 weeks the iPlayer notifications are a gentle reminder for when its on. With the ability to disable notifications for certain apps and the scheduling of CrimeWatch so the notifications won’t be a constant annoyance to people. There would be a notification through the iPlayer app the day before and the day of the broadcasts as a reminder. There would also be one for when the episode is available on iPlayer and that it would be there for 24 hours.Using the BBC News app to give notifications for development with cases that are on CrimeWatch. The notifications would be based on the twitter feed for CrimeWatch and would allow people to remain connected to the cases after the episode. To distinguish from the normal BBC News notifications with the first line having the word CRIMEWATCH in caps.


For research I looked into the usuage statistics for BBC iPlayer from October-December 2015 The research shows that even with usuage fluctuating over the year there is still an increase in users since 2009. The second shows the distribution of users by gender and age group, there is a near equal representation between male and female users. It is mainly younger age groups using iPlayer but it does reach older audiences. This supports my decision to use iPlayer as the maintouch point for users to engage them with CrimeWatch after the broadcasts because there is equal use by both genders and a varied age range of users so the CrimeWatch idents would be seen by a wide range of users without the requirement to start using another service.

Statistics taken from BBC iPlayer Press Packs October 2015 & December 2015.

Information from BBC Crimewatch November 2015 and March 2016 and the BBC CrimeWatch twitter account.

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