Introducing Victim Surveys… By Ann Young
Victim surveys are carried out by the BCS ( the British Crime Surveys). They look into what kinds of crimes are committed and ask victims of crime questions about what happened to them, highlighting what kinds of crimes occur most often and the impact they have on the victim and the communities involved. This then relates to the Police and the laws on a wider scale to make sure that changes are made to society for the better to reduce crime and therefore victims of crime. This creates Quantitative data, and therefore statistical data. It also creates an idea of what type of person is more likely to be a victim of crime.
The strengths and weaknesses of Victim Surveys are:
-They produce results that can look into to show patterns in terms of what kinds of people are victims of crime ( age, sex, race and class)
-The surveys are carried out using interviews and questionnaires, and using open and closed questions to create valid and reliable data.
-It is representative data as the BCS use 47,000 people in their survey from the UK.
– Cannot be sure that the results are accurate because the victim may be scared to reveal what happened to them or they may not be able to remember what happened exactly.
-The surveys are only given to adults, so this does not include crimes that are committed against children- this is then only representative of the adult population.
-Not all crimes have victims such as drug dealing or taking illegal drugs.