Youth - Social stratification and groupings
Crime Survey for England and Wales - Major studies
Crime and law enforcement - Law, crime and legal systems
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), previously known as the British Crime Survey (BCS), has been in existence since 1981. The survey traditionally asks a sole randomly selected adult, in a random sample of households, details pertaining to any instances where they, or the household, has been a victim of a crime in the previous 12 months. These are recorded in the victim form data file (VF). A wide range of questions are then asked covering demographics and crime-related subjects such as attitudes to the police and the criminal justice system (CJS). Most of the questionnaire is completed in a face-to-face interview in the respondent's home; these variables are contained within the non-victim form (NVF) data file. Since 2009, the survey has been extended to children aged 10-15 years old; one resident of that age range has also been selected at random from the household and asked about incidents where they have been a victim of crime, and other related topics. The first set of children's data, covering January-December 2009, had experimental status, and is held separately under SN 6601. From 2009-2010, the children's data cover the same period as the adult data and are included with the main dataset. Further information may be found on the ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales webpage and for the previous BCS, from the GOV.UK BCS Methodology webpage.
A series of questions on drinking behaviour, drug use and intimate personal violence (IPV) (including stalking and sexual victimisation) are administered to adults via a self-completion module which the respondent completes on a laptop computer. Children aged 10-15 years also complete a separate self-completion questionnaire. The questions are contained within the main questionnaire documents, but the data are not available with the main survey; they are available only under Special Licence/Secure Access conditions. See Access section for further details.
From 2009-2010, low-level geographic variables are available under Special Licence conditions to match to the survey/ From 2011-2012 onwards, further lower-level geographic variables are also available, subject to Secure Access conditions.
Up to 2001, the survey was conducted biennially. From April 2001, interviewing was carried out continually and reported on in financial year cycles and the crime reference period was altered to accommodate this change. The core sample size has increased from around 11,000 in the earlier cycles to over 40,000. Following the National Statistician's Review of Crime Statistics in June 2011 the collation and publication of Crime Statistics moved to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from 1st April 2012, and the survey changed its name to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) accordingly.
The 1982 and 1988 BCS waves were also conducted in Scotland. The England and Wales data for 1982 and 1988 are held at the UKDA under SNs 1869 and 2706, but the Scottish data for these studies are held separately under SNs 4368 and 4599. Since 1993, separate Scottish Crime and Justice Surveys have been conducted, and these are held under GN 33330.
|Variable 'PFA' (Police Force Area):
The BCS variable 'PFA' (Police Force Area) is now only available within study SN 6936, British Crime Survey, 2010-2011: Special Licence Access, Low-Level Geographic Data, which is subject to restrictive access conditions; see 'Access' section below.
2010-2011 self-completion modules:
Data from the three adults self-completion modules on drinking behaviour, drug use, and interpersonal violence (comprising the module on domestic violence, sexual victimisation and stalking), and the children's self-completion module, are held under separate Special Licence studies (SNs 6951, 6952, 6953 and 6981 respectively). These studies are also subject to restrictive access conditions, similar to the aforementioned geographic dataset; see also 'Access' section below.
The study includes information from the adult and child questionnaires. Data from the adult and child samples are available as separate files.
The adult non-victim form questionnaire for 2010-2011 covered: perceptions of crime and local area; performance of the CJS; mobile phone and bicycle crime; experiences of the police (Module A); attitudes to the CJS (Module B); crime prevention and security (Module C); ad-hoc crime topics (Module D); plastic card fraud; anti-social behaviour; road safety and traffic module; demographics and media.
The adult victim form contains offence-level data. Up to six different incidents were asked about for each respondent. Each of these constituted a separate victim form and can be matched back to the respondent-level data. Topics covered included: the nature and circumstances of the incident; details of offenders; security measures; costs; emotional reactions; contact with the CJS; and outcomes where known.
Self-completion modules were also fielded to the adult respondents, covering drug use, drinking behaviour, and interpersonal violence (IPV) (the modules on domestic violence, sexual victimisation and stalking). The module questions are included in the adult non-victim form questionnaire, but the data are subject to Special Licence access (see 'Access' section below).
The child questionnaire included: schooling and perceptions of crime; crime screener questions – personal incidents only; victimisation module; perceptions of and attitudes towards the police; anti-social behaviour; and crime prevention and security.
The child self-completion questionnaire covered: use of the internet; personal safety; school truancy; bullying; street gangs; drinking behaviour; cannabis use; and verification questions. Data from the child self-completion questions are also available only under Special Licence access; (see SN 6981).
By principal investigator(s):
Links to more recent publications may be found on the ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales webpages and the Home Office BCS Methodology webpages.
Previous technical reports and papers, 1982-2001:
Wood, D. (1982) British crime survey: technical report, London: SCPR.
National Opinion Polls (1985) 1984 British Crime Survey: technical report, London: NOP.
Social and Community Planning Research (1988) 1988 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: SCPR.
Allen, D. and Payne, D. (1991) Crime prevention in Scotland - findings from the 1988 British Crime Survey, Scottish Office.
Allen, D. and Payne, D. (1991) The public and the police in Scotland - findings from the 1988 British Crime Survey, Scottish Office.
Payne, D. (1992) Crime in Scotland - findings from the 1988 British Crime Survey, Scottish Office.
Kinsey, R. and Anderson, S. (1992) Crime and quality of life - public perceptions and experiences of crime in Scotland: findings from the 1988 British Crime Survey, Scottish Office.
Hales, J. (1993) 1992 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: SCPR.
White, A. and Malbon, G. (June 1995) 1994 British Crime Survey: technical report, London: OPCS Social Survey Division.
Hales, J. and Stratford, N. (1996?) 1996 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: SCPR.
Hales, J. and Stratford, N. (1999) 1998 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: SCPR.
Hales, J., et al. (2001) 2000 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.
Budd, T. (2001) Burglary: practice messages from the British Crime Survey, Briefing Note 5/01, London: Home Office.
Kinshott, G. (2001) Vehicle related thefts: practice messages from the British Crime Survey, Briefing Note 6/01, London: Home Office.
Mattinson, J. (2001) Stranger and acquaintance violence: practice messages from the British Crime Survey, Briefing Note 7/01, London: Home Office.
Budd, T. and Sims, L. (2001) Antisocial behaviour and disorder: findings from the 2000 British Crime Survey, Findings 145, London: Home Office.
Resulting from secondary analysis:
Pease, K. (1988) Judgements of crime seriousness : findings from the 1984 British Crime Survey, Research and Planning Unit Paper 44, London: Home Office.
Shah, R. and Pease, K. (1992) 'Crime, race and reporting to the police' Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 31, pp.192-199.
Webb, P.M. (1994) Housing tenure as a determinant of the decision to report vandalism to the police: secondary analysis of the 1988 British Crime Survey, England and Wales, Dissertation for MSc Social Research, University of Surrey, September.
Bucke, T. (1997) Ethnicity and contacts with the police: latest findings from the British Crime Survey, Research Findings No.59, Research and Statistics Directorate, London: Home Office.
Ramsay, M. and Spiller, J. (1997) Drug misuse declared in 1996: latest findings from the British Crime Survey, Home Office Research Study 172, London: Home Office. ISBN 1-85893-917-8.
Hough, M. and Roberts, J. (1998) Attitudes to punishment: findings from the British Crime Survey, Home Office Research Study 179, London: Home Office. ISBN 1-84082-017-9.
Macdonald, Z. (1999) 'Illicit drug use in the UK', British Journal of Criminology, 39(4), pp.585-608.
Macdonald, Z. (2000) 'Illicit drug use, unemployment and occupational attainment', Journal of Health Economics, 19, pp.1089-1115.
Macdonald, Z. (2000) 'The impact of under-reporting on the relationship between unemployment and property crime', Applied Economic Letters, 7, pp.659-663.
Macdonald, Z. and Pudney, S. (2000) 'Analysing drug abuse with British Crime Survey data: modelling and questionnaire design issues', Applied Statistics, 49(1), pp.95-117.
Data from the British Crime Survey, 2000: Teaching Dataset (SN 4740) has been used for the following textbook:
Tarling, R. (2008) Statistical modelling for social researchers: principles and practice, Oxford: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-44840-6. The book's companion web site includes downloadable datasets and further information: retrieved 26 March, 2013, from http://www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415448406/links.asp.