The Crime Survey for England and Wales (formerly British Crime Survey) asks people aged 16 and over living in households in England and Wales about their experiences of crime in the last 12 months. These experiences are used to estimate levels of crime in England and Wales. Until recently the survey did not cover crimes against those aged under 16, but since January 2009 we have also interviewed children aged 10 to 15.
We also ask respondents to the survey about their attitudes to crime-related issues such as:
• the police;
• the criminal justice system;
• their perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour.
The results of the survey play an important role in informing government policy.
The survey provides a better reflection of the extent of household and personal crime than police recorded statistics because the survey includes crimes that are not reported to, or recorded by, the police. The survey is also a better indicator of long-term trends because it is unaffected by changes in levels of reporting to the police or police recording practices.
However, the survey does not aim to provide an absolute count of crime and has notable exceptions, including homicides and incidents against those living in communal establishments or people who are homeless. The main survey count of crime also does not include fraud, sexual offences or drug use. However, these are covered in additional modules within the survey and are reported on separately.
For more technical reports regarding the survey please see the Home Office website
The survey is carried out by TNS-BMRB (an independent research organisation) on behalf of the Office for National Statistics. If you wish to know more about the survey from TNS-BMRB please ring the Crime Survey information line at TNS-BMRB on freephone 0800 051 0882.