Crime Survey for England and Wales

Frequently asked questions

Why has my household been chosen?

The Crime Survey for England and Wales is designed to measure the extent of crime by asking households whether they have experienced any crime in the last 12 months.  Visiting every address in England and Wales is not possible as it would take too long and the cost could not be justified.  Instead, we select a representative sample of addresses and ask people at these addresses to take part in the study. These addresses are selected to represent the population as a whole.

In 2014/15 approximately 50,000 households will be selected to take part in this research. These households are chosen at random from the Royal Mail's list of addresses. Interviewers do not know who lives at the address until they visit it.

Once an address has been selected for the study, we cannot replace it with another address. This means that we rely on the goodwill of those who have been chosen to take part in the survey.

What does taking part involve?

If your address has been selected for the British Crime survey, you should have received a letter informing you about the survey.  The letter is accompanied by a leaflet containing more information about the survey.   Copies of the letter and leaflet can be downloaded here:

An interviewer will visit your address to ask you to take part in the survey. All TNS BMRB interviewers carry an identity card and will have informed the local police that they are working in your area. Always ask to see an identity card before you take part in the survey.

The interviewer will ask a few questions about the people who live at the address. If more than one person lives at the address they will randomly select one person aged 16 or over to take part in the study. Selecting one person in this way helps to ensure that the study represents everyone in England and Wales.

The interviewer can only interview the person who has been selected. If the selected person does not wish to take part then no-one else in the household can take their place.

We rely on people's voluntary cooperation and are very happy to arrange appointments so that you can complete the interview at a time that suits you.  The interviewer can make an appointment when they call at your address or alternatively you can call the Crime Survey information line (0800 051 0882) to request that the interviewer telephones you to arrange a suitable time to visit.

I have never experienced any crime, do I still need to take part?

It is very important that we talk to people who may not have experienced any crime as well as those who have to make sure that we have a balanced view.  Addresses are selected at random and that means that some high crime areas will be included as well as some areas where crime is very rare.  By talking to people from all types of areas the survey is able to give a true picture of crime for the country as a whole. 

How can you check the interviewer is genuine?

interview ID card  All interviewers working on the Crime Survey for England and Wales work for  TNS BMRB and TNS Operations. They carry a Market Research Society  Interviewer Identity card with their interviewer name, number and a photo, (as  shown on the left).  If you would like to check the identity of an interviewer you  can call the Crime Survey Information line on 0800 051 0882.




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