A £7m advertising campaign to try to cut robbery, burglary and car crime is being launched by the Home Office.
Lock windows and doors is one of the campaign messages
The government wants people to take simple steps - such as locking doors - to avoid being victims of crime.
Posters at bus shelters, as well as adverts on TV and radio, will be a mainstay of the three-year "Let's Keep Crime Down" initiative.
But the Conservatives say it is a waste of money which patronises people by telling them the obvious.
The campaign launch on Sunday was designed to coincide with the clocks going back, as the crimes targeted traditionally rise during winter.
BBC News correspondent Emma Howard said the adverts had received a cautious welcome from the charity Victim Support.
But she said the charity was "not happy about the adverts' tone, which could leave victims feeling guilty and foolish for not having followed the steps outlined by the government".
Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: "We know that one in five crimes happens through something really stupid - like leaving your doors and windows open, leaving goods on the back seat of your car, flashing around your mobile phone.
"It's simple things the public can do to stop themselves being victims of burglary and robbery."
But shadow home secretary David Davis said: "We do not need Labour wasting taxpayers' money and patronising the public by telling us the obvious.
"They should focus their energies on freeing our police
from the increasing burden of red tape and putting them back on the front line."