Author Archives: ambersellwood

The British Crime Survey


Victim Surveys- Amber Sellwood

Victim surveys are a questionnaire, which collects primary data, consisting of a number of questions asking the public about any personal or household crimes that have been committed against them. It records the number of crimes that are not reported, shows differences and similarities between time periods and geographical areas and shows which types of crime are more or less common. The large amount of crime which is not reported is known as the dark figure of crime. Crimes are often not directly reported to the police by victims for many reasons. For example, the victim may feel embarrassed, the may feel the police will not listen or believe them or they may not realise they are a victim of a crime.

An example of a victim survey is the British Crime Survey which asks around 50,00 people over the age of 16 about any crimes they have been a victim of in the past year. However, it has been criticized for ignoring people living in communal establishments such as hostels and care homes, which may make the data unreliable.




  • The respondents can answer anonymously so are more likely to be truthful.
  • It collects qualitative data which is valid and gives an in-depth answer.
  • It uses large samples so it is representative.


  • People may not record some crimes that have been committed against them.
  • There may be a low response rate.
  • The respondents may not understand some questions.
  • Respondents may not answer all questions.
  • Qualitative data is hard to analyze.