Home Office warns public in £7.1m anti-crime campaign

LONDON – The Home Office has launched a £7.1m campaign to warn the public about robbery, burglary and vehicle crime, timed to coincide with the turning back of the clocks when these incidents traditionally begin to rise.

The TV, radio, press, poster, direct mail and ambient push, to run over three years with the strapline "Let's keep crime down", has been created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Rolfe/Y&R for COI Communications, and is designed to show the simple steps people can take to make themselves, their homes and cars more secure.

Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: "More than 1m burglaries, robberies and thefts of vehicles were recorded by last year's British Crime Survey. A fifth of these crimes take place because people fail to take basic precautionary measures to protect their property.

"This innovative communication campaign is designed to get across the basic steps that people can take to reduce their chances of being a victim. Simple precautions -- locking doors, installing security, hiding valuables -- can and do make a real difference."

Crime prevention messages featuring in the campaign include avoiding robbery by carrying your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards and spreading your possessions about your person.

The campaign has come under fire in the media today, with shadow home secretary David Davis telling the Daily Mirror that it was "patronising" because it merely tells the public the obvious.

The first TV and radio ads will be broadcast today. Media buying for TV has been handled by Starcom MediaVest, for radio by OMD UK and for press by MediaCom.

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