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ONS announces changes to Crime Survey

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced changes to the Crime Survey for England and Wales following a consultation earlier this year.

To reduce costs, they have:

  • Reduced the sample size for 2017/18 by 600 households
  • Reduced the survey response rate to 71% from October 2017
  • Removed three modules of questions asked of respondents about the performance of, their experiences of, and their attitudes to the criminal justice system from October 2017

ONS consulted this summer to get feedback on potential cost savings for the survey in light of reduced funding. A majority of respondents (40%) said reducing the response rate to 71% and the sample size by 600 was the best option of those available for achieving the required savings.

They received 123 responses from academics, police forces and police and crime commissioners, local or regional government organisations, other government departments, charities and voluntary organisations.

There were proposals in the original consultation document to remove questions related to victims’ experiences of the court system and use of victim services, but many respondents raised concerns about these options. In particular, 34 respondents (28%) specifically identified the removal of the questions on restorative justice as a major concern.

As a result of the consultation, these questions have been retained.