|The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) (formerly the British Crime Survey (BCS)) provides an important source of information about levels of crime, public attitudes to crime and other related issues. The results play an important role in informing Home Office policy. The CSEW measures the amount of crime in England and Wales by asking people about crimes they have experienced in the last year. This includes crimes not reported to the police, so it is an important alternative to police records. Victims do not report crime for various reasons, and without the CSEW there would be no official source of information on these unreported crimes. Because members of the public are asked directly about their experiences, the survey also provides a consistent measure of crime that is unaffected by the extent to which crimes are reported to the police, or by changes in the criteria used by the police when recording crime. The CSEW also examines people's attitudes to crime, such as how much they fear crime and what measures they take to avoid it, and attitudes to the Criminal Justice System (CJS), including the police and the courts. For further information about the history of the CSEW and details of related survey series, see the main CSEW catalogue record.
Special Licence Data:
The CSEW/BCS has also been successful at developing special measures to estimate the extent of domestic violence, stalking and sexual victimisation, which are probably the least reported to the police, but among the most serious of crimes in their impact on victims. Information from adult respondents on these more sensitive issues, along with details of behaviour and drug use, is gathered by means of 'self-completion' modules in the questionnaire, and the resulting data are kept separate from the main files. These files are subject to more restrictive access conditions, which differ over time as detailed below.
BCS self-completion data up to 2007/08:
For BCS survey years up to and including 2007/08, the self-completion modules are currently subject to conditional access. They are held under the same study number as the main BCS for that year, but permission to use the self-completion files must be granted by the depositor. Prospective users should check the individual catalogue record for the BCS year they require and then contact the UKDS HelpDesk in the first instance.
BCS/CSEW years 2008/09 onwards:
For the 2008/09 onwards, data from the self-completion modules (described above), a low-level geographic variables dataset and (from 2009/10) data from the children's self-completion module, have been held under separate study numbers to the main survey and are are available only to Office for National Statistics (ONS) Approved Researchers, under Special Licence access conditions. The same applies to SN 6422, British Crime Survey, 2006-2007: Special Licence Access, Social Heterogeneity Variables. From April 2012, responsibility for the survey moved to the ONS, and the BCS became the CSEW. From 2011/12 onwards, the interpersonal violence module (IPV) (comprising data on domestic violence, sexual victimisation and stalking) became available only under Secure Access conditions; prospective users should contact the UKDS HelpDesk in the first instance.
The British Crime Survey, 2008-2009: Special Licence Access, Low-level Geographic Data file comprises the following variables:
Prospective users should also order the main British Crime Survey, 2008-2009 (SN 6367).
- Rural and Urban Area Classification 2004
- Police Force Area
- ACORN Type (2001, updated 2006)
- ACORN Group (2001, updated 2006)
- ONS Ward Classification: Group (2001 Wards)
- ONS Ward Classification: Subgroup (2001 Wards)
- ONS District Level Classification: Group (2003)
- ONS District Level Classification: Subgroup (2003)
- Output Area Classification - Group (21 categories)
- Output Area Classification - Subgroup (52 categories)
- Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) (Sample definition)
- Police Force Area (name)
- Basic Command Unit
- Basic Command Unit (name
- Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership
- Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (name)
Please see the main BCS 2008-2009 documentation, held under SN 6367.