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Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL12104, tabled on 13 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Office for National Statistics removed the upper age limit from the Crime Survey for England and Wales; and when the statistics from this survey relating to those aged 75 and older will be published.

Answered on

27 January 2021

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

20 January 2021

Dear Baroness Greengross,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) removed the upper age limit from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW); and when the statistics from this survey relating to those aged 75 and older will be published (HL12104).

The CSEW is a face-to-face victimisation survey which asks people aged 16 and over resident in households in England and Wales about their experiences of a range of crimes. Self-completion modules are included on the survey to collect information on topic areas that respondents could feel uncomfortable talking to an interviewer about. The upper age limit for respondents eligible for the self-completion modules of the CSEW was increased from 59 years to 74 years in April 2017. This is different to the main face-to-face part of the survey which has no upper age limit.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it was necessary to move the CSEW from a face-to-face survey to a telephone-only survey (by which it may be referred to differently as the TCSEW, or “Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales”, in publications). As a result, we are currently not asking questions around any sensitive topics, including domestic abuse and sexual assault, because of ethical and safeguarding concerns with this new mode of delivery.

Once it is possible to return to the face-to-face mode of delivery, we will immediately remove the upper age limit for respondents to the self-completion modules, in the interests of inclusivity. It will then take at least 12 months of data collection to enable us to produce accurate victimisation estimates for adults aged 75 and over.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Answered by

Cabinet Office