Scottish Crime and Justice Survey: consultation analysis

Summary of the responses and feedback gathered during the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey consultation and associated discussion events.

This document is part of a collection

6. User Materials

The consultation explored opinion on the available SCJS user materials. These user materials are: i) the main findings report; ii) the excel data tables; iii) the interactive data tool and; iv) the data available through the UK Data Service (UKDS).

6.1 User Materials - The Main Findings Report

The Main Findings Report is the main publication which documents the results of the survey on an annual basis. The report contains a wide-range of evidence about experiences and perceptions of crime, the police and justice system in Scotland, as well as biennial results from the survey's self-completion modules which cover drug use, stalking and harassment, partner abuse, and sexual victimisation. The report also includes one-page infographic summaries by theme.

Reported reasons for using the main findings report include:

  • To view trends in overall crime
  • To view results on specific topics
  • To include as background context in research or academic publications

Reported reasons for not using the main findings report include:

  • The main findings do not provide the breakdowns and detail required
  • The report is not relevant to their work

6.2 User Materials - The Excel Data Tables

For users who wish to explore the data collected by the SCJS, data tables for each topic area covered by the survey are available for download from the SCJS area of the Scottish Government website in Microsoft Excel format.

Reported reasons for using the excel data tables include:

  • To further explore themes arising from the main findings
  • To perform analysis in their area of interest

Reported reasons for not using the excel data tables include:

  • Summaries being already available in the main findings report
  • The data tables do not provide the disaggregation of data they require, such as by ethnicity and local authority area
  • The use of the data tables is unnecessary or not relevant to their work

6.3 User Materials - The Interactive Data Tool

The interactive online tool graphically displays time-series data using SCJS findings. Using this tool, users can view findings for various sections of the SCJS, including rates of crime victimisation, confidence in and attitudes to the police, and perceptions of crime. Different visualisations can be created to highlight different aspects of the data, such as viewing trends over time and breakdowns of police divisions relative to the national average.

Reported reasons for using the interactive data tool include:

  • To examine trends over time
  • To generate questions for further research
  • To quickly provide data and results in their area of interest

Reported reasons for not using the interactive data tool include:

  • The user typically only required the main findings
  • The tool does not provide the data and level of detail they require, such as local authority area
  • They were not aware of the tool
  • Using the tool is unnecessary or irrelevant to them

6.4 User Materials - The UK Data Service

The UK Data Service is an online resource which holds a collection of economic, social and population data for research and teaching. It is free to register and become a member of the UKDS. Registered users can request the download of SCJS data in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited formats.

Reported reasons for using the data available through the UKDS include:

  • To gather detail in specific areas
  • To perform further analysis on their topics of interest

Reported reasons for not using the data available through the UKDS include:

  • They were unfamiliar with or unaware of the UKDS
  • They are not a member of the UKDS
  • It is not relevant to their work

6.5 User Materials - Summary

Considering the range of feedback received, it is apparent that, going forward, the SCJS user materials must continue to cater for a variety of users and their requirements. This is illustrated by the contrasting feedback received for each available resource. For example, for some users, the main findings report was the only resource they used as this provided the information they required. However, for other users, the main findings report did not provide the information they required, necessitating the use of other materials and data sources, such as the UK Data Service (UKDS). A similar contrast is seen when asked directly about the UKDS data, with some users stating they use the UKDS to conduct further analysis, whereas other users were unaware of or unfamiliar with the UKDS.

Although the SCJS already presents a range of user materials, comments were made which suggest possible changes to these resources and the manner they are presented could further increase the value of the statistics. It was highlighted that the survey data, which is currently available through the UKDS, could be better promoted. More specifically, information relating to the data content, format, availability, and the necessary process to request access and download, could be communicated to users of the SCJS in a clearer way. Similar considerations were extended to the interactive data tool, with users feeling the tool was useful, but underutilised due to their lack of familiarity with the resource. Considering this, it was suggested that to make the survey and resources more accessible, it may be beneficial to have a form of guide to assist users - which may include a catalogue of the survey data variables, and to have an online repository where requests are made publically available to avoid repetition.



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