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Research on Transforming the Crime Survey for England and Wales

Data and Evidence


In 2017 the ONS commissioned Kantar Public to conduct some initial exploratory work to assess the feasibility of transitioning the CSEW questionnaire from an in-home, interviewer-administered instrument to an online, self-completion instrument. The report was published in Re-Design of Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) Core Questions for Online Collection. Although the research made significant progress in developing an online instrument, it concluded that due to the complexities of estimating crime, particularly with respect to complex scenarios, further research was required.  Following the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic ONS commissioned Kantar Public in late 2021 to build on this initial development work and undertake two fields of enquiry which became known as Work package A and Work package B.

Work package A- Was commissioned to further explore how CSEW crime can be estimated through an online questionnaire. The work was to include taking on board the recommendations of the initial report whilst undertaking further development of an online questionnaire and conduct a live filed test. The following activities took place:

  • A scoping review which consisted of a rapid evidence review.
  • A review of the previously developed online questionnaire.
  • Further development of a new survey script building in as many improvements as possible within the timescale.
  • Conducting qualitative cognitive-ability testing.
  • A live split sample experiment (using Kantar Public’s Public Voice Panel) where participants were allocated either to a telephone or online version of the redeveloped survey instrument
  • Post-hoc qualitative depth interviews targeted with respondents

Work package B- Was commissioned to explore how questions on crimes against children can be asked through an online questionnaire. The work included the following activities:

  • Scoping/literature review of relevant surveys and ethical frameworks that relate to surveys among children and young people (CYP) up to the age of 17 years of age 
  • Review of the existing self-completion (cybercrime) module, used in the current face-to-face survey to ensure it was suitable for testing in an online context.
  • A series of depth interviews with children and young people aged 9-17, and one of their parents, to address issues related to online survey administration from the perspective of both the parent and the child. 

Both reports are published here on behalf of ONS.


Work Packages

Work Package A: Developing and testing an online version of the CSEW questionnaire
Work-package B: Exploring the use of an online survey to measure crime against children and young people

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