"Concerns over youth gangs and anti-social behaviour"
Whilst there is a wealth of data on crime, social order and related issues, some studies are regarded as 'key' in the UK – either through their subject/geographical coverage, their methodology, their longevity, their usage among the research community or because they feed into the creation of 'official' figures and indicators.
The majority of the data described are known as 'raw', 'primary' or 'source' data in the sense that they represent information that has been collected 'first-hand'; they are original data sources which may then be used for 'secondary' analysis by researchers not involved in the data collection process. The majority of these data are anonymised because they describe the attitudes, behaviour, circumstances and personal details of the individuals being studied. These types of data are heavily used by the academic and government research communities.
The UK Data Service provides access to the following primary data sources:
|Arrestee Survey, 2003-2006||2003-2006
England and Wales
|problematic drug misuse among arrestees
levels of demand for drug and alcohol treatment services
levels of intravenous drug use among respondents
|British Social Attitudes Survey, 1983-||Most years since 1983||social attitudes with irregular crime questions:
what the government can do to cut crime (1994)
whether immigrants increase crime rates (1995 and 2003)
fear/worry about crime (1983, 1990, 1995)
|Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (Great Britain), 1961-1981||1961-1981
school records and criminal records
tendencies towards violence
|Census aggregate data||1981-2011: England and Wales
1991-2001: Northern Ireland
Data available at many geographical levels (e.g. county, district, ward, output area). Availability of topics and categories vary by census, country and geographical level
|communal establishments (e.g. prisons)|
|Citizenship Survey, 2000-||
2001- (biennial cross-sectional survey)
England and Wales
|identity and social networks
trust and influence
racial and religious prejudice and perceptions of discrimination
|Conflicts and Violence in Prison, 1998-2000||1998-2000 (cross-sectional (one-time) study)
|Context and Motive in the Perpetuation of Racial Harassment and Violence in North Staffordshire, 2004||2004
views on racially-aggravated assaults
attitudes towards asylum-seekers
|Crime in England and Wales||1979 onwards (data collection methodology has changed over time)
England and Wales
|quarterly statistical bulletin published by the UK Home Office, covering latest recorded crime figures|
|Crime, Social Order and the Appeal to Community, 1994-1996||1994-1996
England and Germany
|crime and crime prevention
criminal justice system
|Crime Survey for England and Wales (formerly the British Crime Survey, 1982-)||1982- (biennial until 2001, then annual cross-sectional survey)
Respondents aged 16-59 years
England and Wales
fear of crime
perception of local area (antisocial behaviour, night-time economy and alcohol disorder)
attitudes towards police and criminal justice system
|Doing Youth Justice: Analysing Risk and Need Assessments in Youth Justice Practice, 2004-2005||2004-2005 (cross-sectional (one-time) qualitative study)
One local authority area in England
|magistrates'/police/solicitors'/youth workers' understanding of young offenders
young offenders' understanding of criminal justice processes
|Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime : Waves One to Four, 1997-2001||1997-2001 (longitudinal, continuing - ESDS currently holds Waves 1-4)
|young people's involvement in crime behaviour|
|Eurostat New Cronos||1950- continuing (country and city level time series data)
European Union countries, plus some coverage of others, including Russia and United States
|crimes recorded by the police disaggregated into the following categories (country level data):
police officers (country level, absolute numbers)
prison population (country level, absolute numbers)
general government expenditure on prisons
|Gender Difference, Anxiety and the Fear of Crime, 1995||1995 (cross-sectional (one-time) study)
Some interviews contain life history details
fear of crime
|International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS)
Data from EU countries within the ICVS framework are available separately from the European Crime and Safety Survey Consortium (EU ICS)
|1989- continuing (individual survey data)
Around 70 countries
|householders' experience with respect to crime, policing, crime prevention and fear of crime|
|Multilateral Policing in Africa: its Nature and Socio-Political Impact in Uganda and Sierra Leone, 2003-2005||2003-2005 (qualitative study)
Uganda and Sierra Leone
|nature/provision of policing
use of policing made by different groups and individuals
|National Evaluation of the New Deal for Communities Programme: Household Survey Data, 2002-2006||2002-2006 (cross-sectional, includes longitudinal element)
quality of life
views on local area
involvement in local community
experience of crime
views on local services
|Neighbourhood Boundaries, Social Disorganisation and Social Exclusion, 2001-2002||2001-2002 (mixed-methods, qualitative/ quantitative)
Edinburgh and Glasgow
|fear of crime
perceptions of neighbourhood
attitudes towards neighbouring areas and those 'outside' immediate community
social and community cohesion
groups and community organisations
attitudes to community policing
|Offenders Index Cohort Data, 1953-1997||1953-1997 (subset of six cohorts from continuing longitudinal study)
England and Wales
|court appearances and convictions for a cohort of offenders born in each of the years 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973 and 1978|
|Offending, Crime and Justice Survey, 2003-||
2003- ‘rotating panel’ study (includes longitudinal element)
Respondents aged 10-29 years
England and Wales
|measures of self-reported offending
indicators of repeat offending
trends in prevalence of offending, drug and alcohol use
information on nature of offences committed
|Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (formerly ONS Opinions or Omnibus Survey)||
Regularly since 1990, monthly since 2005
|there have been a number of crime-related modules in the non-core questions, for example:
attitudes to domestic violence (June 2004)
attitudes to the police (December 1990 and October 1993)
anti-social behaviour (June 2004)
|ONS Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity among Prisoners in England and Wales, 1997||1997
England and Wales
|assessments of psychiatric conditions
use of services before and in prison
key life events
social and economic functioning
|Penal Communication, 2001-2002||2001-2002 (cross-sectional (one-time) study)
|meaning of punishment
purpose of sentencing and punishment
probation, community service and combination orders
public perceptions of sentencing
attitudes to criminal behaviour
reparation and restorative justice
|Policing, Cultural Change and 'Structures of Feeling' in Post-War England, 1945-1999||1945-1999 (qualitative study)
police, ministerial and political activities
crime and social history
|Rape in the 21st Century: Old Patterns, New Behaviours and Emerging Trends, 2000-2002||2000-2002
|demographics of victim and assailant
circumstances around attack
circumstances around reporting of attack
|Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, 1993-||1993- (triennial, cross-sectional survey)
perceptions of local area
varying modules over time (including violence, antisocial behaviour, personal safety, perceptions of the Scottish Criminal Justice System, prisons)
|World Bank Africa Development Indicators||1960- continuing (annual time series) country level data
Africa, over 50 countries
|crime (perception as a business constraint)
crime, theft and disorder (% of firms identifying this as major constraint)
CPIA Public Sector Management and Institutions index (a country level transparency, accountability and corruption rating)
|World Bank World Development Indicators||1960- continuing (annual time series) country level data
Global, over 200 countries
|corruption (perception as a business constraint)
courts (confidence in courts to uphold the law)
|Young People and Crime Survey, 1992-1993||1992-1993
England and Wales
|criminal offences crime and lifestyle factors
use of controlled drugs
Other research communities are less interested in these primary, and predominantly individual-level, data and are more likely to be consumers of information that has been published at the aggregate-level (e.g. crime figures released by the UK Home Office and police forces), or research reports based on information collected at interview. Whilst the UK Data Service holds some aggregate-level data of interest to crime researchers – corruption indices published by the World Bank, for example, and European data on recorded crime, homicide, prison populations and police, published by Eurostat – we are only one of many online resources that provide access to published data based on the crime and social order theme.
Other key data publishers
The UK Data Service has a faceted search application called Discover where you can search and browse our data collections, support guides, case studies, and related publications.
Browsing for crime and social control data
Use Discover to retrieve a list of crime and social control related studies This will provide a list of studies with links to the catalogue records and related materials.
Searching for crime and social control data
Use Discover to retrieve a list of crime and social control related studies by searching the catalogue using a free-text search on a crime-related term. You can refine your search by Country, Kind of data, Spatial unit, Observation unit, Depositor or Date. This will provide a list of studies with links to the catalogue records and related materials.
Searching using the UK Data Archive's HASSET thesaurus
Use the UK Data Archive Humanities and Social Science Electronic Thesaurus (HASSET) to search for keywords and explore their narrower, broader or related terms, for example:
Looking at variables on crime and social control Data
Researchers can retrieve a list of crime and social control related studies by using the UK Data Service Variable and Question Bank search. This searches on variable labels and value labels within a dataset.
Downloading and ordering crime and social control data
Registered users can download or order most data for offline analysis. Most survey data are available to download in standard formats, for example, SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited. Further information on how to access and download data is available from our how to access page.
Using the following online data analysis tools researchers can view frequencies, conduct simple online tabulations and produce graphs and subsets for a selection of crime-related data. View the following movie tutorials to learn how to analyse crime data using these tools.
Use the Nesstar analysis software to find out statistics on the fear of crime and whether age and/or gender affects how worried people are about being mugged or robbed.
Use the Beyond 20/20 analysis software to visualise and download prison populations for England and Wales, France, Germany, Italy and Spain between 1993 and 2006.
ESDS Qualidata Online
Use ESDS Qualidata Online to view interviews and related materials from four of our classic sociology collections.
The UK Data Service has a library of case studies demonstrating how our data have been used. You can identify uses according to topic, data type and educational course.
Use Discover to view our case studies on crime and social control. This will provide a list of case studies with links to case studies and other related materials.
See the following examples for some ideas for research using crime data:
Researchers in criminology are interested in using data on crime-related issues to assess, for example, government crime reduction policies. The UK Data Service holds data that can be analysed to deliver detailed assessments, beyond the headline reports often carried by the media on crime and social order.
Fear of crime is a subject of growing interest to researchers and studies have been conducted into issues such as the relationship between age and fear of crime. There are a number of cross-sectional, government surveys available including the British Crime Survey and the British Social Attitudes Survey, which contain extensive sample survey data.
We hold studies of use to researchers interested in investigating the fear of crime, which primarily consist of transcripts of in-depth interviews and focus groups. One of the most important of these is Gender Difference, Anxiety and the Fear of Crime, focusing on crime and its relation to the risk of victimisation.
For researchers interested in making comparisons between countries about attitudes to governmental control of crime, our international micro datasets offer a rich source of information. Issues such as public confidence in the criminal justice system, perceptions of crime levels, and what role the state should play in dealing with crime are explored.
The UK Data Service helps to support users of data by providing:
Other resources on crime and social control data
Centres of expertise
Networks and discussion lists
Tuesday 17 December 2013: UKDS.Stat, Beyond 20/20 and IMF eLibrary Text Collection interfaces may be unavailable from 07.00 to 10.15 for maintenance.
Thursday 19 December 2013: IMF eLibrary Text Collection may be unavailable from 09.00 to 12.00 for service upgrade.