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Scottish Victimisation Telephone Survey 2020: main findings

Main findings from the Scottish Victimisation Telephone Survey 2020.

This document is part of a collection


Annex B: Overview of police recorded crime, the SVTS and the SCJS

Police Recorded Crime Scottish Victimisation Telephone Survey (SVTS) 2020 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS)
Where does the data come from? Administrative police records Telephone interviews with residents from a recontact sample from the 2018/19 and 2019/20 SCJS surveys Face-to-face interviews with residents from a nationally representative sample of the household population
Basis for inclusion Crimes recorded by the police in Scotland, governed by the Scottish Crime Recording Standard Trained coders determine whether experiences of victimisation in the last 12 months constitute a crime or not and assign an offence code which specifies that crime
Frequency Collected by financial year (April to March). Statistics released in an annual publication as well as on a monthly basis from April 2020 Single survey. Fieldwork conducted during September and October 2020, with a reference period extending over 13 months from September 2019 to September 2020 Survey conducted annually for each financial year with reference period extending over 25 months. Results previously published biennially, now annually and available on the SCJS website.
Strengths
  • Covers the full range of crimes and offences
  • Provides data at a local level
  • A good measure of rarer, more serious crimes that are well reported
  • A good measure of long-term trends
  • A good measure of crime that the police are faced with
  • Analyses crime for different demographic groups
  • Provides information on multiple and repeat victimisation (up to five incidents in a series)
  • Provides attitudinal data (e.g. fear of crime and perceptions of police)
  • Fieldwork can be undertaken whilst face-to-face fieldwork is not possible
  • Provides estimation of change in crime rate after the implementation of the UK's first national lockdown (23rd March 2020)
  • A good measure of trends in crime since 2008/09
  • Captures further information about crimes that are not reported to the police (including domestic abuse or drug abuse)
  • Analyses crime for different demographic groups and victim-offender relationships
  • Provides information on multiple and repeat victimisation (up to five incidents in a series)
  • Provides attitudinal data (e.g. fear of crime and attitudes towards the criminal justice system)
Limitations
  • Partially reliant on the public reporting crime
  • Reporting rates may vary by the type of crime (e.g. serious crime is more likely to be reported or housebreaking if a crime number is required for insurance purposes)
  • Trends can be affected by legislation; public reporting practices; police recording practices
  • Does not cover all crimes (e.g. homicide or crimes without specific victims, such as speeding)
  • Does not cover the entire population (e.g. children, homeless people or people living in communal accommodation)
  • Less able to produce robust data at lower level geographies
  • Not possible to compare data with the SCJS time series, due to methodological differences
  • Estimates are subject to a degree of error (confidence intervals)
  • Is not able to cover sensitive issues such as domestic abuse or drug use
  • Does not cover all crimes (e.g. homicide or crimes without specific victims, such as speeding)
  • Does not cover the entire population (e.g. children, homeless people or people living in communal accommodation)
  • Less able to produce robust data at lower level geographies
  • Difficult to measure trends between adjacent survey years, especially in rarer forms of crime (such as more serious offences)
  • Estimates are subject to a degree of error (confidence intervals)
What other data is collected?
  • Additional statistical bulletins published, including on homicides, firearm offences and domestic abuse incidents
  • Public perceptions about crime
  • Worry about crime
  • Perceptions of the police
  • Security consciousness when at home and when out
  • Public perceptions about crime
  • Worry about crime and the perceived likelihood of being a victim of different types of crime
  • Confidence in the police and the criminal justice system
  • Prevalence estimates on 'sensitive' topics (partner abuse, sexual victimisation, stalking and drug use) reported on biennially

Contact

Email: scjs@gov.scot

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