It appears the Greater Washington Board of Trade's new anticrime campaign is having a desired effect.

According to Lewis C. Shealy, vice president of security for Woodward & Lothrop and this year's campaign chairman, the number of area residents losing their check-cashing privileges decreased for the third consecutive week. Credit card fraud arrests were also down, while the number of shoplifting arrests rose 13 percent during the third week of the campaign.

Since the campaign started on Sept. 24, 3,809 persons have lost their check-cashing privileges.

For the first time, the Board of Trade's effort is aimed at credit card fraud and bad-check writing, as well as shoplifting.

Sheldon W. Fantle, president and chief executive officer of Peoples Drug Stores and chairman of the retail bureau of the Board of Trade, said 425 shoplifting arrests were made in the Washington area during the first week of the program. During the same week last year, there were 530 shoplifting arrests, and there were 563 arrests in 1978. Fantle also said that arrests for credit card fraud and bad-check writing for the week were also down from the same period last year.

Fantle cited the widespread publicity the campaign has received as a major factor in the decline in arrests.

"Every time you turn on your radio or television, the imaginative power of the graphics hit you full-force. You read it in the public service advertisements in the press media and see it on billboards, Metro buses, Metrorail and in the Metro stations. We anticipate having more than 20,000 posters displayed in area schools, in retail stores and on nonretail employe bulletin boards," Fantle said.