|The Offending, Crime and Justice Survey (OCJS) (also sometimes known as the Crime and Justice Survey), was the first national longitudinal, self-report offending survey for England and Wales. The series began in 2003, the initial survey representing the first wave in a planned four-year rotating panel study, and ended with the 2006 wave. A longitudinal dataset based on the four years of the study was released in 2009 (held at the Archive under SN 6345).
The OCJS was commissioned by the Home Office, with the overall objective of providing a solid base for measuring the prevalence of offending and drug use in the general population of England and Wales. The survey was developed in response to a significant gap in data on offending in the general population, as opposed to particular groups such as convicted offenders. A specific aim of the series was to monitor trends in offending among young people.
The OCJS series was designed as a 'rotating panel' which means that in each subsequent year, part of the previous year's sample was re-interviewed, and was augmented by a further 'fresh' sample to ensure a cross-sectional representative sample of young people. The aim of this design was to fulfil two objectives: firstly, to provide a solid cross-sectional base from which to monitor year-on-year measures of offending, drug use, and contact with the CJS over the four-year tracking period (2003-2006); and secondly, to provide longitudinal insight into individual behaviour and attitudinal changes over time, and to enable the Home Office to identify temporal links between and within the key survey measures.
The OCJS was managed by a team of researchers in the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate. The Home Office commissioned BMRB Social Research and the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to conduct the surveys jointly. Both organisations were involved in developing the surveys and, at each wave, the fieldwork was split between the two agencies.