how a police force used lego and youtube to tell a story

Christmas crime-awareness messages. They can be a bit dull, can't they? What, when we're out looking to have fun? Well, West Midlands Police turned to Lego to help get their message out.

by Peter Edney


As part of our Christmas crime prevention campaign we launched a special festive Lego animation on our YouTube channel over the weekend.

Every Christmas we look for new and innovative ways to share important messages to as many people as possible during the festive season.

This year I had the idea of creating a Lego animation that we could share across social media to add a bit of fun to a serious message.

More than anything we want everyone to take steps to secure their homes properly and deter burglars. One aspect of that is to advise everyone not to leave piles of presents under the Christmas tree where they are visible through windows and doors and could be inviting to opportunistic thieves.

The animation itself, which was made out of work time at no cost to the force, is made up of more than 500 photos which were taken on two mobile devices using an app called Clayframes (link) which then stitched them together to bring the characters to life. 

The app was very simple to use (I’d never created an animation before, which you can probably tell from a few rogue bits of movement!) and the final video, which took around 10 hours to complete, was then edited by a colleague to add the ‘special effects’.

We decided to launch the video on Sunday morning with the view that Sunday afternoons/evenings are busy on social media – particularly with the X-Factor Final and Sports Personality on TV in the evening.

We also ensured that someone was covering our Facebook and Twitter accounts all day on Sunday up until Midnightso that we could engage with everyone who was sharing the video.

This was followed up on Monday by sharing the video far and wide with all of our Twitter users, media, blogs and local partners to maximise the reach. Less than 48 hours after going live it has now been seen by more than 25,000 people on our YouTube channel.

For more information about West Midlands Police follow @WMPolice on Twitter, to see the video visitwww.youtube.com/WestMidlandsPolice

Peter Edney works in West Midlands Police corporate communications department.

Picture credit.