1. Why have I been selected?

Your address has been randomly selected from the Postcode Address File held by Royal Mail.

We are continuing to run the telephone operated the Crime Survey and invite those who have previously taken part in the in-home interview to take part in the survey by telephone if they wish to.

The CSEW is widely considered to be the most important source of information about trends in crime. We rely on people’s help in taking part to be able to produce information about the extent and nature of crime in England and Wales. This is particularly important at this time.

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

Back to table of contents

2. 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

3. 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 via the telephone with an interviewer from Verian. For more information on Verian, which are carrying out this survey on our behalf, please see Section 6.

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 to arrange an appointment for you to take part. Interviewers are available during the day, evenings and weekends.

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

4. 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, regardless of 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 police and your perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour. Some more sensitive questions are included at the end of the in-home interview in a section where you can enter the answers directly into the survey, without anyone seeing the answers you give.

The majority of the more sensitive questions you were asked previously will not be asked this time. 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

5. 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 Section 7 about our commitment to protecting your data.

Back to table of contents

6. Who is carrying out the study?

This study is being carried out by Verian, on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS also plan and run the census in England and Wales.

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, and 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, and 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 Verian

Although the ONS is responsible for the study, the interviews are carried out on our behalf by an independent research company called Verian. Once they have collected the data, they will provide these 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 Verian’s commitment while they are handling your information, please go to the Verian website.

If you would like to check the identity of an interviewer or whether the call is genuine, please call the Verian Crime Survey information line on +44 800 051 0882.

All telephone operators working on the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) attend training.

Back to table of contents

7. 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

8. Want to get in touch?

Please contact the Crime Survey information line at Verian on freephone +44 800 051 0882 to speak to an advisor for help with:

  • making an appointment for the interviewer to call at a time convenient for 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 – 9am to 9pm
  • Saturday – 9am to 12pm

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

9. 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 Section 2: 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.

Back to table of contents