1. Why have I been selected?

To build a picture of our whole society, we need to talk to all types of people. We are interested in your attitudes and concerns about crime, regardless of whether you have been a victim of crime or not.

It is not possible to ask everyone to take part in this ongoing study. Instead , we invite a sample of individuals which makes sure we represent everyone.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, we want to hear from you.

Back to table of contents

2. A child in my home has also been asked to take part in the survey. Why is this?

The Crime Survey for England and Wales seeks to gain a broad picture of crime in England and Wales. This includes speaking to children aged 10 to 15 years. We may ask a child in your household to take part in the study. If so, the interviewer will outline the age -appropriate topics and seek the written consent of a parent or guardian.

Once consent has been gained from both the child and parent or guardian, a date and time for the interview is set up. The parent or guardian can be present for the interview if they and the child wish.

It is important to include children in this study to help us understand the extent of crime experienced by the general population. It also allows us to find out what children think about issues such as the police and personal safety.

Back to table of contents

3. How we have selected you

The Royal Mail’s list of addresses in England and Wales was used to select your address at random. If your household is selected, we cannot ask another household to take your place as this would affect how representative the study is.

One adult (aged 16 years or over) is then selected at random from each address to be interviewed. Again, if you have been selected, we cannot ask another member of your household to take your place.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales can also record young people’s experiences and views on crime. In households where children aged 10 to 15 years are present, we will ask one child to take part. They are also randomly selected, and we cannot ask another child to take their place. This will only happen in households that have already taken part in the main study.

Back to table of contents

4. Why should I take part?

This is your unique opportunity to tell us about your opinions and experiences. By taking part in this study, you will be helping to provide a more complete picture of crime than police recorded crime statistics provide alone. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) includes crimes that are not reported to, or recorded by, the police.

The Home Office, government departments, public bodies and charities use the findings from the CSEW to make plans and to meet the country’s changing needs. These range from national policies, such as those aimed at reducing crime, to facilities and services local to you.

Information you provide can also be used to identify those most at risk of crime, which is useful when designing crime prevention programmes.

To help inform decision-making, we must build an accurate picture of our diverse and changing population. Asking you questions allows us to gather a range of information to produce the statistics needed to help shape tomorrow. Your responses will provide information not available from any other sources. Do not miss the chance to have your say.

Back to table of contents

5. What happens next?

You should have received a letter inviting your household to take part. This letter introduces the study, and explains that it will take place face to face with an interviewer from Kantar Public. For more information on Kantar Public, who are carrying out this survey on our behalf, please see Section 8.

Once you have received your letter, you can arrange an interview for a time that suits you. If you do not get in touch, a security-cleared interviewer will visit your address to arrange an appointment for you to take part. Interviewers are available during the day, evenings and weekends.

This study only involves the individual selected to represent the household, or in the case that a child has also been selected to take part, the household representative and one child aged 10 to 15 years.

We design our studies with you in mind and keep them as short as possible. We only collect the information we need to better understand our society. Your response is really important to us. We know everyone is busy, so if your plans change and it is no longer a good time, it is fine for you to rearrange.

Once you have completed the study, we will combine the answers you give us with everybody else’s. We then use these data to produce statistics.

Back to table of contents

6. What will I be asked?

The study will include questions about your experiences of crime in the 12 months before your interview. We are interested in your experiences whether you have been a victim of crime or not. You will also be asked about your attitudes to crime-related issues such as:

  • the Criminal Justice System, including the police and the courts

  • your perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour

  • more personal crimes and crimes of a sensitive nature, through a self-completion section

There are no complex questions and we have made sure you do not need any specialist knowledge to take part.

There are no right or wrong answers – your honest responses are vital for us to produce reliable statistics about our whole society.

We respect your right to a private life – the information you provide in this study will not be used to identify or incriminate you in any way. If you are uncomfortable with any of the questions you are asked, you can always leave them out.

Back to table of contents

7. What will you do with my answers?

Your personal information will remain confidential.

The details you provide in your interview will be combined with those of everyone else taking part so we can produce statistics. Any data we publish will never identify you or your household.

We do not sell your data on, and you will not receive junk mail or marketing calls as a result of taking part in one of our studies.

If you want to know more, please see the section about our commitment to protecting your data.

Back to table of contents

8. Who is carrying out the study?

This study is being carried out by Kantar Public, on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS is the country’s largest producer of statistics.

At the ONS we are:

  • independent, unbiased and impartial. We are separate from other organisations and do not allow anything to influence the statistics we publish.

  • the only organisation that produces official statistics as a primary role. We have no additional interest in the information we collect.

  • only interested in society as a whole, and not you as an individual. Statistics represent groups of people. We remove your personal details as we are not interested in singling you out.

At the ONS we are not:

  • a commercial or market research organisation. We do not work for profit and will not try to sell you anything.

  • associated with any political parties. We produce official statistics, no matter who the prime minister or political party in government is.

  • going to sell on your data under any circumstances. We value your involvement in our studies and do not profit from your data. You will not receive any “junk mail” as a result of taking part.

  • monitoring you; the data you give are only used for producing statistics. We will not use your information to contact you about other matters such as your tax, income or benefits, and we will not provide your information to anyone else for them to do so either.

Read more about what we do at the ONS.

Working with Kantar Public

Although the ONS is responsible for the study, the interviews are carried out on our behalf by an independent research company called Kantar Public. Once they have collected it, they will provide the data to us so we can produce statistics. We always make sure that organisations we work with treat your data responsibly.

To find out more about Kantar Public’s commitment while they are handling your information, please go to the Kantar Public website.

One of Kantar Public’s security-cleared interviewers will come to your home to carry out the study in person. They will always carry an identification card, which includes their photograph and interviewer identification number.

If you would like to check the identity of an interviewer, please call the Kantar Public Crime Survey information line on +44 (0)800 051 0882.

All interviewers working on the Crime Survey for England and Wales attend training. Kantar carry out approximately 3000 crime survey interviews with children aged 10 to 15 years every year. They also have broad experience of interviewing children across a variety of other ongoing studies, such as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE).

Back to table of contents

9. Our commitment to you and how we treat your information

What you can expect from us

You can read about the commitments we make to people taking part in our studies on the Taking part? What you can expect from us page.

How we treat your information – confidentiality and data protection

UK legislation allows us to collect and process your data to produce statistics for the public good.

Your information will be treated as confidential as directed by the Code of Practice for Statistics. It will only be held for as long as it is being used for producing statistics. The statistics produced will not identify you or anyone in your household.

Survey information is also provided to other government departments, approved organisations and approved researchers for statistical purposes only. Details on who can access this information can be found on the approved organisations and government departments page and the approved researchers page.

All statistics produced will be subject to the Code and the same standards of protection will be applied to your data at all times.

If you have a question about how we process the information you provide after it is passed on to us, or want to find out more about your rights under data protection legislation, please see our data protection page for more information and the contact details you will need.

Back to table of contents

10. Want to get in touch?

Please contact the Crime Survey information line at Kantar Public on freephone +44 (0)800 051 0882 to speak to an advisor for help with:

  • making an appointment for the interviewer to visit at a time convenient to you
  • getting a message to an interviewer who has already contacted you
  • any other queries you have about the study or taking part

Telephone opening times are:

  • Monday to Friday - 8am to 7pm
  • Saturday - 8am to 1pm

You can also get in touch via email at crimesurvey@kantarpublic.com.

We would appreciate your suggestions on how we can improve this or any of our studies. It would also be great to hear from you if you are happy with the service you have received. You can email us at surveyfeedback@ons.gov.uk.

Back to table of contents

11. Do I have to take part?

We hope we have explained just how important your response is to us, and the value of your information in producing reliable statistics for decision-making. If you missed this, or need a refresher, see our section on ‘Why should I take part?’.

It is your chance to have your voice heard. If you are still not convinced, you do not have to take part if you do not want to. For us to paint an accurate picture of our society, it is vital that we hear from as many people as possible, from all walks of life.

In many other countries it is compulsory for selected individuals to take part. We are giving you the choice to make a difference.

Back to table of contents