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Publicity campaigns have had mixed success when used in crime reduction programs. Perhaps publicity campaigns fail in delivering their intended message because of poor design or implementation, and hence, it may be premature to dismiss campaigns as ineffective crime prevention tools. While publicity attempts have had little success in changing victim or offender behavior, they should not be abandoned; rather, the police should refine them. The challenge lies in finding the proper ways to influence citizen behaviors. Finding ways to reach the public is a key component. For example, if we know that elderly women living alone have a greater fear of crime, police should seek greater campaign efficiency by addressing this group more directly.68 Police in England reported that only 29 percent of residents had heard about an anti-burglary initiative they conducted.69 In this case, it is clear that the publicity component did not reach the intended audience.
In order to achieve the intended goals, police publicity campaigns should do the following:
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