Page last updated at 00:03 GMT, Monday, 28 December 2009

'Simple' anti-theft steps urged

Home Office anti-theft campaign poster
More than a third of burglaries take place via open doors and windows

People are being urged to do "simple things" to protect themselves from crime, such as locking doors and windows and hiding valuables.

The Home Office's Don't Advertise Your Stuff to Thieves campaign will use television, radio and posters to warn homeowners about lax security.

Messages will also appear on websites to give online shoppers advice about how to prevent identity fraud.

Police chiefs said most thieves were "opportunistic" and could be deterred.

More than a third of domestic burglaries are carried out when windows and doors have been left open.

Petrol pumps

The campaign will include:

  • Warnings to homeowners to keep their premises secure and not to leave items like car keys, bank statements and laptops on display.
  • A collaboration with route planner websites, which will mean a final instruction - after the list of directions - telling drivers to remove any valuables from their car before getting out.
  • Reminders on petrol pumps and car park barriers to motorists to lock their cars.
  • Posters at bus stops, train stations and in shopping centres telling people to take care when opening their bags or using their mobile phones.
  • Advice on shopping websites reminding people to keep their personal information secure and vary their passwords.
Home Office anti-theft campaign poster
Posters and radio and television adverts will warn the public

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: "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."

The Association of Chief Police Officers' lead on crime prevention, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Rod Jarman, said the campaign was "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," he added.

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