The Definition Of Crime Prevention Campaigns

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3 Crime prevention campaigns
3.1 What is crime prevention?
The core businesses of the police are reducing crime and social disorder. The police already try to prevent the public by personal contact. During the interview with the police of Antwerp, this also became clear. They attach high value to speak to the people in the street in a personal way. The police believe that this approach is the most effective but the most intensive as well. Some campaigns even took three years due to this approach.

Another key point is raising public awareness through campaigns. These campaigns are called ‘crime prevention publicity’. It is important that each campaign has its own strategy. The police have already launched a lot of prevention campaigns. Some examples are given in the attached interview.

A definition of crime prevention publicity was made, based on several key efforts:

A planned effort
By an agency
To promote crime prevention practices
By creating distinct campaigns designed
To educate victims, or deter offenders.

All the prevention campaigns that the police of Antwerp have already launched have different objectives. The first and most important objective is raising the awareness about a certain problem that is going on in the environment. Some examples of these problems are burglary, car theft and fire. The police of Antwerp focus nowadays on house burglary and drug addiction.

A second objective is trying to change the behaviour of the target group. A third objective is targeting the criminals. By launching a prevention campaign, the criminals will also be deterred. They will notice that the police are more present and this will, hopefully, have a positive effect on the amount of crimes. The last objective is giving ...

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...ause most of the time, people throw it away immediately (group, 2014).

3.6 Conclusion
Crime prevention campaigns can be effective if there is a good strategy. Both, the tone of the campaign and the medium have to be carefully thought-out. In general, positive messages are more effective. The goal is to change the behaviour of the target group. In general, a personal approach is the most effective to reach this goal.

With this personal approach, it is also necessary to involve intermediary groups. A crime prevention campaign can focus on the victim or the offender. In the case of car theft, it is better to focus on the victim because the offender will automatically be reached as well.

A prevention campaign has to focus on the neighbourhood where the problem occurs. Sometimes, this neighbourhood cannot be specified. In this case, a global campaign is necessary.
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