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NCJ Number: 77306 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Prevention - An Evaluation of the National Publicity Campaigns
Author(s): J J M vanDijk; C H D Steinmetz
Corporate Author: Netherlands Ministry of Justice
Research and Documentation Centre
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: Netherlands Ministry of Justice
2500 Eh the Hague, Netherlands
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: National media crime prevention campaigns in the Netherlands during 1977 and 1978 and results of a subsequent survey pertaining to these campaigns are evaluated in this report.
Abstract: The main objective of the campaigns was to increase the awareness of individual citizens regarding precautions they can take against certain frequently occurring crimes. The citizen survey asked respondents about precautionary measures they had taken against theft and burglary offenses. The theoretical basis for this approach is Fishbein and Azjen's attitude theory according to which action preparedness is a function of cognitive judgments effected within the limits of the relevant social norms. This links fear of crime with the implementation of precautionary measures; concrete experience of victimization has been shown to increase preparedness while social norms inhibit preparedness in certain high-risk groups, such as young urban dwellers. The survey results indicated that 68 percent of the sampled population was able to recall information items from the campaign, and 82 percent of those mentioned television as their source, while newspapers (37 percent) posters (9 percent), radio (8 percent) and weeklies (8 percent) turned out to have played a less important role. It was calculated that 12 percent of the total Dutch population used greater precautionary measures as a result of the campaign. However, the aged, women, small town inhabitants, and the lower social levels were highly represented among those who recalled nothing of the campaign. Inhabitants of big cities, members of the highest social class, and those below 50 years of age responded best to the campaign. Preparedness measures against theft of bicycles and theft from a car and against breaking and entering were the most frequently implemented. Little discrepancy was found between verbal intention and action in taking crime prevention measures. Although the campaign increased awareness and application of precautionary measures, it did not contribute to a more balanced distribution of crime prevention efforts in the population as as whole. It is unlikely that crime can be reduced through the application of precautions by a minority of the population, because this will result in a diversion of the risks toward the nonpreventers. Tables, notes, and 28 references are furnished.
Index Term(s): Citizen crime precautions; Crime specific countermeasures; Evaluative research; Fear of crime; Netherlands; Physical crime prevention; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education; Public information; Television programming; Victimization surveys
Note: Number 40. Paper for a Colloquium of the Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Canada, November 24, 1980.
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