|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.
|The longitudinal analysis of the OCJS, based on the four survey years, 2003-2006, aimed to describe the levels of change in offending behaviour, antisocial behaviour (ASB) and drug use within individuals. It also covered the timing of transitions into and out of offending, ASB and drug use. The analysis intended to:
Further information can be found in the user guide but users are also advised to consult the individual OCJS wave documentation.
- identify the most common ages for starting to offend and use illegal drugs, and the ages of desistance
- help to identify young people who are most at risk of offending and using drugs
- explore the patterns of offending and drug use, including uptake and desistance among young people
The Four-year Panel dataset comprises respondents who participated in all four waves of the OCJS between 2003 and 2006. The dataset includes: the derived offending, antisocial behaviour and drug use variables, derived risk factor variables and the original survey variables used in the derivation of the risk factors. The dataset also includes five cluster variables derived as a result of latent class analysis.
The Paired Transitions dataset contains data for use in the analysis of 12-month transitions between two consecutive OCJS interviews. Each row in the data file represents a respondent who was interviewed at two consecutive waves of OCJS. Hence, respondents who had taken part in all waves appear three times in the dataset; with a separate record for each of the periods covered by waves one to two, waves two to three and waves three to four. Respondents did not need to have been involved in all waves to be included in the transitions data file, although they did need to have taken part in at least two consecutive interviews.