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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221485 Find in a Library
Title: Public Communication About Home Burglary Prevention in Belgium: Strengths and Weaknesses Tested by Content Analysis and Focus Group Interviews
Journal: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management  Volume:30  Issue:4  Dated:2007  Pages:567-586
Author(s): Dave Gelders; Hans Peeraer; Jelle Goossens
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper examines the content, formation, and evaluation of printed public communication from police officers and governments regarding home burglary prevention in Belgium.
Abstract: The findings indicate that police zones significantly differ in terms of communication efforts. The media mix is not diverse; the municipal magazine is the medium most used to disseminate information about home burglary prevention. There is poor collaboration between police officers and government information officers, and communication efforts about home burglary prevention are not consistent between police zones. Since burglary is a crime associated with substantial emotional impact, informing citizens with information on how to reduce their chance of becoming a victim is paramount. There were rarely introductory issues in the communication and it was insufficiently communicated as to why the prevention measures were important. Messages were formulated from a rational and technical point of view and the communication was not targeted to specific groups. Renovators, new home builders, victims, and vacationers receive the most information but, are rarely used as intermediaries. Public communication about home burglaries has an impact on the knowledge of citizens as attitudes regarding home burglary prevention and the impact of verbal communication cause behavior to change. Printed communication supported by verbal communication is considered to be the most effective. Recommendations for improvement include: richer media mix, more targeted communication, more national communication support, more training of police officers, and additional dialogue between police officers and professionals/intermediaries. Data were collected through five focus group interviews among professionals and common citizens, and the examination of 104 communication pieces. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Belgium; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Foreign police; Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Burglary; Foreign police/community relations; Police crime-prevention; Police-media relations
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