UK Government

Home Office: Don’t advertise your stuff to thieves – help prevent crime

Press Release   •   Dec 28, 2009 11:00 GMT

A new campaign reminding people not to leave their homes or belongings exposed to criminals was launched today by Home Office Minister Alan Campbell.

Over the next eight weeks an advertising campaign will run on television, radio, press, poster sites and the internet featuring simple crime prevention messages for tackling burglary, robbery, theft from vehicles as well as identity fraud.

The adverts include crime prevention tips reminding people to lock doors and windows and not to leave things like car keys, bank statements, and laptops on display or visible from doors and windows at home.

The multimedia campaign also includes innovative uses of route planner websites, which after directing motorists to their destination will include a final step reminding them to secure their vehicle and remove any valuables from sight. Reminder messages to lock cars and not leave valuables visible will also be used on petrol pumps and car park barriers.

Identify theft prevention ads will feature on online shopping sites reminding the public to keep their personal information secure and not to use the same passwords across all websites to help avoid online fraud.

Robbery prevention messages will appear on posters at bus stops, train stations and shopping centres to remind people when out and about, not to have their valuables on display, by leaving bags open or mobile phones visible.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said:

"We are determined to keep crime falling through a combination of tough action against offenders and support for the most vulnerable communities. While the government will continue to do its part, the public can also help in the fight against crime.

"Simple things like locking your doors and windows when you’re out, not leaving valuables on display or just making sure your bag isn’t hanging open on the bus will keep the criminals out."

Michael Fraser, former teen burglar turned crime prevention expert who has presented BBC’s Beat the Burglar, said:

"Burglars are opportunists and by doing the simple things you can easily protect your home from them. Locking your doors and windows, not leaving your car keys, bank statements or valuables on display will all make your home safer.

"The best advice is the simplest advice; don’t advertise your belongings to thieves."

Chief Executive of Victim Support, Gillian Guy, said:

"This campaign is very welcome. The last thing people need, especially at this time, is their home burgled or bank account emptied - it can be devastating. That’s why Victim Support will be there to give practical help and emotional support to anyone who needs it."

The Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on crime prevention Deputy Assistant Commissioner Rod Jarman said:

"The ‘Don’t Advertise Your Stuff to Thieves’ campaign is a common-sense practical guide on how to keep yourself and your property safe.

"Most thieves are opportunistic, so by taking some practical steps, you can reduce the chances of falling victim to thieves."

According to the British Crime Survey 37 per cent of burglaries occur in properties with unlocked doors and windows and this new campaign aims to make people aware of the very simple steps they can take to protect their homes and valuables.

The campaign is part of wider Home Office action to tackle acquisitive crime which includes; the £6.5 million Safer Homes Fund which will secure 60,000 homes across the country; the Vigilance Programme providing additional support to 35 areas to tackle burglary and robbery by cracking down on offenders; and the Retail Crime Action Plan which includes a £5 million fund to for small retailers to buy security devices such as alarms or UV markers.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. A campaign website at www.direct.gov.uk/letskeepcrimedown contains more information and advice for the public on keeping their home, property and Identity safe. A free booklet of advice and tips for preventing burglary, robbery, theft from cars and ID theft can be downloaded from the site or is available by calling 0845 600 4171 (Lines open from 29 December).

2. The Safer Homes Fund is part of the Securing Homes: Action Against Burglary programme launched in April. The Fund provides grants to community organisations to pay for local handypeople to physically secure up to 60,000 homes in priority areas across England and Wales belonging to those most at risk of or concerned about being victims of burglary such as students, people in socially deprived areas and older people.

3. The Vigilance Programme is a £3 million package of support to help 35 areas tackle and prevent burglary and personal robbery. It includes a crackdown on known offenders, particularly offenders released from short term prison sentences, with more proactive methods.

4. The Retail Crime Action Plan (RCAP) was launched in August. It was drawn up in partnership with the retail industry, and details a broad range of actions to tackle crimes against retailers and small businesses. It includes the Small Retailers Grants Fund and an online risk assessment tool to help businesses identify simple measures they can take to reduce the risk of crime.

5. For copies of the adverts call the Home Office press office on 020 7035 3535

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk