They've run almost continuously over the Christmas period, and each time they come on, I grind my teeth at the hectoring tone, not to mention the underlying message: 'If you have nice things (and you shouldn't, you capitalist scum), it's only to be expected that if you don't hide them from sight, others will take them'.
Well, the Beeb are faithfully helping to plug this message now too:
People are being urged to do "simple things" to protect themselves from crime, such as locking doors and windows and hiding valuables.Inside our houses. Inside our houses. We must hide our valuables away, otherwise they are too much of a temptation.
You there, the mother that bought her children a Wii for Christmas? Don't plug it into the telly and let them play with it in full view of the window, woman! What are you thinking? Pull the curtains now!
You, man with the iPhone! Don't use it to make calls in public, are you mad? Anyone can see it!
You, granny! Don't sit there admiring that silver photo frame your daughter bought you for your golden wedding anniversary. In fact, what are you doing putting it on the mantelpiece? You should hide it in a bedroom cupboard, and sneak the occasional peak at it, at night. Only once a month, mind. Don't get too greedy...
And in case you thought you could avoid this if you didn't watch tv (or if someone stole it), think again. It's going to be everywhere:
The campaign will include:The effect of the message being to subtly reinforce the notion that if someone steals something from you, it's your own damn fault for not keeping it safe and out of sight...
* 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.
Now, I believe in being sensible as much as the next person. I wouldn't dream of leaving my door unlocked or my car unlocked at a petrol station while I pay for the petrol (much good it'd do anyone if I did, as my immobiliser kicks in after about a minute).
But am I the only one who looks at all this 'helpful' advice with a rather jaundiced eye? It's not about public information. It's about public fear and guilt...