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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77900 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Prevention Publicity - An Assessment
Author(s): D Riley; P Mayhew
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
Research and Planning Unit
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 49
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London. SW1H 9AT, England
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This monograph summarizes what is known about the effectiveness of Government crime prevention advertising in reducing crime in Great Britain.
Abstract: It has been estimated that some 1.5 million British pounds has been spent by the Government in a 5-year period on crime prevention advertising through posters, leaflets, television, and press campaigns. The campaigns have been both victim-oriented, which target citizen behaviors conducive to victimization and offender-oriented, which discourage behaviors that break the law. Road safety and use of car seat belts were also promoted. Such advertising, while not strikingly successful in effecting behavior changes likely to lead to crime reduction, has nevertheless increased knowledge of campaign recommendations and caused positive attitude shifts. A specific evaluation of an antivandalism television campaign conducted in northwest England in 1978 compared the levels of four measures of vandalism during the campaign period and during an equivalent 3 months of the preceding year. Findings did not indicate that the advertising had had significant effects on either parents' attitudes to vandalism or the amount of vandalism committed. Purely persuasive offender-oriented campaigns are deemed to fail because (1) offenders are unlikely to be moved by generalized appeals without perceiving an increased risk of being apprehended and penalized and (2) the advertising message is more remote than the immediate pressures that motivate an offense. A 1979 poster and television campaign urged owner precautions to forestall car thefts. It was evaluated through a physical check of over 25,000 vehicles and police crime records. Findings indicate that the autocrime campaign met with little success either in achieving improvements in car-locking behavior or in reducing the number of recorded car thefts. Tables, graphs, and footnotes are provided. A total of 60 references are given.
Index Term(s): Attitude change; Crime prevention measures; Evaluation; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Media support; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education
Note: Home Office Research Study no. 63.
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