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Let's keep crime down

Let's keep crime down

HOME OFFICE News Release (025/2009) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 17 February 2009

A new £1.6million national crime prevention campaign has been launched today by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

The adverts will appear in national and regional newspapers, television and radio over the next eight weeks. They will carry simple messages about how the public can make their homes safer and protect themselves from opportunistic criminals with the strapline "Lets Keep Crime Down".

According to the British Crime Survey 36 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.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:

"Most burglars are opportunistic but there are simple things that the public can do to stop them from breaking into their home such as locking their windows and doors. This campaign is about making sure that people are aware and doing everything they can to protect their homes.

"Previous economic downturns have seen increases in acquisitive crime but I do not accept that this is inevitable. This new national marketing campaign is just one part of a concerted effort to get on the front foot which includes a £20million fund for targeted support as well as an online home security self assessment.

"We will do everything we can to provide practical help and advice to vulnerable people but we all have our part to play in making it clear to the minority who think they can take advantage in tough times that they won't get away with it."

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Victim Support, said:

"When violent crime so often dominates the headlines it's easy to forget that burglary affects thousands of people every year. As well as affecting many, we at Victim Support know just how traumatic the experience can be for victims.

"We welcome the Government's quick action in response to the recent rise in burglaries and hope this package of interventions helps to tackle the problem quickly and effectively."

Marion Lewis, Chair of Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (England and Wales), said:

"Neighbourhood Watch welcomes and fully supports this campaign as it encourages people to take personal action and responsibility for their home security. Reminding people of the simple things they can do to minimise risk can be very effective and this campaign will encourage people to take suitable precautions.

"Neighbourhood Watch will work closely with neighbourhood policing teams to distribute the government's crime prevention advice and also use local meetings and engagement opportunities to provide crime prevention information to the public."

The new campaign is part of government action aimed at helping people to increase their personal security and avoid becoming victims of crime during the economic downturn. It uses materials from the successful Let's Keep Crime Down campaign, which won an Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Gold Award in 2008 for demonstrating advertising effectiveness. Today's launch follows the burglary summit held at the Home Office on 4 February, which saw representatives from the public, private and voluntary sector meet to discuss practical ways they could help.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. High resolution copies of the adverts are available from:

http://the-lounge.rkcryr.com

Username : keep_it_safe

Password: burglars

2. To access the new home security web pages go to: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/secureyourhome

3. On 4 February 2009 the Home Office announced a package of crime prevention measures that included:

* a new £20 million fund for local crime prevention initiatives and targeted support to homes and businesses - including measures to strengthen home security, focused on the 14 per cent of homes that still don't have window locks and the 18 per cent that don't have adequate front doors;

* new home security pages on the Home Office website which will offer a single source of information and advice on home security - http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/secureyourhome;

* the web pages include a new online personalised home security self assessment, 'How secure is your home?', that allows people to grade the security of their home in a few minutes. It then provides simple advice about how they can improve it and who they can contact for help.

020 7035 3535

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