Risk of crime calculator: Methodology notes

This page contains an overview of the methodology used in the creation of our Risk of Crime Calculator.

The risk of crime calculator is based on 3-years worth of Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) data. Data have been combined for the years ending March 2015, March 2016 and March 2017. The data is based on responses from adults (from the resident household population), about their experiences of different crime types in the 12-month period preceding their interview. A number of other questions are also asked, and the interviewer also collects a variety of personal and household demographic information from respondents. The figure that the calculator generates is based on the estimated proportion of adults aged 16 and over (who have characteristics similar to those selected in the calculator) that have been a victim of a crime in the 12 months prior to their CSEW interview.

Characteristics fed into the estimate for risk of violent crime, other personal theft and robbery; include; age, sex, employment status and the level of employment deprivation (or involuntary unemployment) in your local area based on the English Indices of Deprivation, 2015 and the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation, 2014.

Characteristics which are fed into the risk of burglary, other household theft, criminal damage and vehicle crime include; age, sex, housing tenure as well as the recorded level of employment deprivation in your local area.

For data quality reasons, we are unable to supply estimates which are based on less than 50 respondents.

Whilst there is an association between these characteristics and crime victimisation, it is important to note, that there is no evidence to show that sex, age, employment status or home ownership have a direct causal relationship with likelihood of experiencing crime. There are a number of other factors measured and unmeasured by the CSEW, that may mitigate or enhance associations between characteristics and the risk of victimisation (such as safety and risk taking behaviours). It is also likely that a number of lifestyle factors associated with these characteristics, contribute to the relationships observed by the CSEW.

Below are more detailed explanations of the types of crimes measured by the survey and the breakdowns used for personal and household demographic information which relate directly to the calculator. ONS also publish more detailed data from the CSEW in annual demographic tables, the latest versions of which, along with additional commentary are published on our website.


Violence includes wounding, assault with minor injury and violence against the person that results in no injury.

Robbery is an incident or offence in which force or the threat of force is used either during or immediately prior to a theft or attempted theft.

Theft from the person covers theft (including attempts) directly from the victims’ person, but without the use of physical force against the victim, or the threat of it. This may be a snatch theft or a stealth theft such as pick pocketing.

Other theft of personal property covers thefts away from the home where no force is used, there was no direct contact between the offender and victim and the victim was not holding or carrying the items when they were stolen (for example, thefts of unattended property).

Burglary is an unauthorised entry into the victim’s dwelling or non-connected building to a dwelling, but does not necessarily involve forced entry; it may be through an open window, or by entering the property under false pretences (for example, impersonating an official).

Other household theft mostly includes theft from outside a dwelling. This also includes theft from inside the home where the offender had the right to be there; for example workmen or an acquaintance of the victim.

Criminal damage is defined as the intentional and malicious damage to the home, other property or vehicles. Criminal damage in the CSEW ranges from arson to graffiti.

Vehicle-related theft offences cover; cars, vans, motorbikes, motor-scooters or mopeds and includes attempted thefts as well as actual thefts from and of these vehicles.

Employment status - The CSEW uses the following categories for employment status, which are based on the National Statistics harmonised classification but include further breakdowns for those in the ‘economically inactive’ category.

• In employment: includes people doing paid work in the last week; working on a government-supported training scheme; or doing unpaid work for own/family business.

• Unemployed: actively seeking work or waiting to take up work.

• Economically inactive: those who are retired; going to school or college full-time; looking after home/family; are temporarily or permanently sick; or doing something else.

Tenure - The following definition of tenure is used by the CSEW based on the National Statistics harmonised classification:

• Owners: households who own their homes outright, or are buying with a mortgage (includes shared owners, who own part of the equity and pay part of the mortgage/rent).

• Social-rented sector tenants: households renting from a council, housing association or other social-rented sector.

• Rented privately: households privately renting unfurnished or furnished property. This includes tenants whose accommodation comes with their job, even if their landlord is a housing association or local authority.

Indices of Deprivation

Local area deprivation is measured in this report using the English Indices of Deprivation, 2015 and the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation, 2014. There are seven domains of deprivation: income; employment; health and disability; education, skills and training; barriers to housing and services; living environment; and crime. There are a number of indicators of deprivation in each of these domains, such as level of unemployment and incapacity benefit claimants, which are combined into a single deprivation score for each local area on that domain. The analysis in the calculator uses the employment deprivation indicator. Since these indices are not directly comparable, the calculator feeds back numbers based on your individual and household characteristics and compares these numbers to either the the overall estimate for England or the overall estimate for Wales.