Victim Surveys by Chloe Hayter

Handcuffed Suspect

A victim survey is a survey that asks a sample of people which crimes have been committed against them over a fixed period of time. It also asks whether of not they have been reported back to the police, these surveys can be conducted on a national or local scale.

  • A national survey- of a whole country in which people are asked to provide information on crimes which have been perpetrated against them.
  • A local survey- in which a specific, usually inner city, neighborhood is targeted, and criminologists or sociologists engage in a more detailed study of the same issues.  by Jock Young, revealing a fear of crime amongst local residents that shapes much of their behaviour. [1]

Surveys are funded by taxpayers, therefore their geographical coverage will often be driven by political geography and by the structure of responsibilities within the Criminal Justice System. [2]

This is a graph of data collected by the BOS:

Graph showing repeat victims by offence

This is a graph of data collected by the BCS ,which is a nationally representative survey with an achieved sample of approximately 47,000 adults living in private households in England and Wales each year. It is a face-to-face victimisation survey in which respondents are asked about their experiences of crime in the 12 months prior to their interview. This graph shows that the highest percentage of repeat victims by offence was from domestic violence. [3]

There are many advantages and disadvantages to conducting Victim Surveys;


  • Victim surveys can provide detailed, informative qualitative data. This would be useful as it would give the data collector lots of useful information to analyse, and would also be specific to what they are looking at.
  • Another advantage to Victim surveys is that they are quick and easy to be conducted. Therefore, victim surveys wouldn’t be time consuming to do.
  • Furthermore, victim surveys are conducted anonymously. This would reduce the chance of social desirability as no one would ever know which questionnaire answered was theirs, so they would have no need to lie.


  • A disadvantage to victim surveys is that as qualitative data is provided, it would take longer to analyse all of the questionnaires individually, therefore it is time consuming.
  • Another disadvantage to victim surveys is that as it is a questionnaire, if the participant does not understand a question it may gather confusing or irrelevant data.
  • In addition, victim surveys may be expensive as a large number of them would have to be handed out, therefore there would be high printing costs and for resources.





Posted on June 17, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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