You asked

Please provide a detailed description of the process or processes that will be undertaken by you or any person or organisation appointed by you to enforce the completion of the 2021 Census.

Please describe the process and provide examples of all templates, letters, emails and any other documents or communications that form part of this process.

Can you also describe the legal powers that any person involved in the process of enforcing the 2021 Census has, for example their rights to access an individuals property.

We said

​Thank you for your request for information regarding the enforcement process of the 2021 Census.

Wave of contact for Census 2021:

Census 2021 officially commences on 07/02/2021 when the public awareness campaign begins, advertising on various media platforms. This is closely followed on 10/02/2021 when the online help goes live for the public, providing support and guidance.

Household and Communal Establishment contact letters are delivered from 01/03/2021.

Sunday 21st March Census Day:

From 22/03/2021 household reminder letters go out for the next five weeks. Every non-responding household gets 3 reminders except those who get paper questionnaires first. These are excluded from Reminder 1.

All refusers will receive a non-compliance 1st warning letter. This is printed to be delivered by 14th May 2021 which allows a minimum of 10 days before the non-compliance field operation begins on the 25/05/2021.

All hard refusals are encrypted so that the names are not visible to the non-compliance team, thus allowing anonymity creating fairness and a lack of bias when selecting those persistent refusers for the 2nd warning letters which will be posted 15/06/2021.

If a householder or CE manager continues to refuse, their details will again be encrypted and will be selected on 12/07/2021 to be served a summons and taken forward for prosecution.

The warning letters clearly indicate that failing to complete a census questionnaire is a criminal offence under the Census Act 1920 (as amended) which is punishable by up to £1,000 fine and a criminal record but the main aim of the non-compliance operation is to support householders complete a census return. If the householder is adamant that they do not wish to do so, the non-compliance team will complete several forms including witness statements and Interview under caution forms which will be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Non-compliance are working closely with CPS to ensure that all actions and time scales are legal and adhere to set policies and procedures.

Legal process:

Everyone in England and Wales must complete or be included on a Census questionnaire for the place where they're living or staying. It is an offence to supply false information or to not complete the Census, and you could be fined up to £1,000. It is not an offence to fail to answer the questions on religion, gender and sexual orientation. To clarify, we do not have the legal power to access an individual's property.

Please also see the accompanying documents. These include a number of reminder letters that are sent out to those who have not yet completed their census form (the 17 documents starting with 'Print_Ready', a template record of interview, a form for summons or warrant for arrest for alleged offence, and a non-compliance notice. The reminders and non-compliance notice are provided in both Welsh and English.