Public Awareness and Auto-theft Prevention: Getting it Right for the Wrong Reason
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This paper reports an evaluation of a public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging the use of car security measures, particularly Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching. It was found that the campaign coincided with an immediate reduction in the incidence of auto-theft. However, there did not appear to be any significant change in the behavior of car owners which would account for this reduction. Rather, it seems the reduction in thefts may have come about through an increased perception of risk the campaign generated among potential car thieves.
Copyright 1998 Palgrave Macmillan. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Security Journal. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/sj/index.html