The Crime Survey for England and Wales

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The Crime Survey For England and Wales (CSEW)

An anonymous and confidential household survey revealing unreported crimes and showing that anyone can become a victim. Participants are chosen at random according to postcode, providing a mixed sample from alternative areas and backgrounds. Conducted within a person’s home by an impartial interviewer it provides a more comfortable and familiar setting enabling victims to open up and provide clarity and details of crimes that they may otherwise not have reported, such as sexual offences (ONS,2013). Universal questioning methodology means everyone experiences the same questions therefore results should be accurate.

However, there are various problems with the survey, for example:

• Responses may be inaccurate from lack of knowledge as only a chosen person answers all questions for crimes experienced by other members within the household (ONS, 2013).
• False information provided by people, perhaps because believed it is what the interviewer wants to hear, The Hawthorne effect, invalidates it (Taylor, 1995).
• The sample size and exclusion of individuals, such as under 16’s or those in group residence, creates bias and an untrue reflection on population as crimes they experience are not taken into consideration (HO, 2013).
• Irregularity with the frequency of the survey makes patterns or trends of crime difficult to identify (ONS, 2013).
• The exclusion of crimes such as, fraud and homicide means results are not correctly demonstrated (ONS, 2013).

The Official Statistics
Having been in operation since 1857 it has established substantial patterns and trends of actual crimes reported to the police. It is used to improve crime prevention methods, analyse crime and show police ef...

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