Dataset: British Crime Survey, 2000: X4L Teaching Pilot Sample


The British Crime Survey (BCS) 2000: X4L Teaching Pilot Sample is a stripped-down version of the full BCS 2000 study held as study number 4463 at the UK Data Archive.  The dataset is drawn from the 'non-victim' BCS data and contains just 26 variables, some broadbanded to protect respondent confidentiality.  

Main Topics:

The main topics covered are 'fear of crime', 'assessment of police' and issues of 'crime and punishment'.

Please note that all other study description information refers to the full BCS 2000 survey.

The British Crime Survey (BCS) is one of the largest social surveys conducted in Britain. It is primarily a 'victimisation' survey, in which respondents are asked about the experiences of property crimes of the household (e.g. burglary) and personal crimes (e.g. theft from the person) which they themselves have experienced. The reference period to which these questions relate is from the first of January in the calendar year preceding the BCS, up to the date of interview. The reference period and indeed the wording of the series of questions which are asked to elicit victimisation experiences, have been held constant throughout the series of BCS surveys.

Because members of the public are asked directly about victimisation, the BCS provides a record of the experience of crime which is unaffected by variations in the behaviour of victims about reporting the incident to the police, and variations over time and between places in the police practices about recording crime. The scope of the BCS goes well beyond the counting of criminal incidents, although it is for this estimate that it has become established as a definitive source of information. In order to classify incidents, the BCS collects extensive information about the victims of crime, the circumstances in which incidents occur and the behaviour of offenders in committing crimes. In this way, the survey provides information to inform crime reduction measures and to gauge their effectiveness. The BCS has been successful at developing special measures to estimate the extent of domestic violence, stalking and sexual victimisation, which are probably the least-reported to the police but among the most serious of crimes in their impact on victims.

Up to 2001, eight waves of the BCS were carried out in England and Wales; 1982, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000. From 2001, the series became annual instead of biennial, but the UK Data Archive does not currently hold the 2001 or 2002 surveys.

The 1982 and 1988 surveys were also conducted in Scotland. The England and Wales data for 1982 and 1988 are held under SNs 1869 and 2706, but the Scottish data for these studies are held separately under SNs 4368 and 4599, as they are subject to different access conditions. Users should note that the 1988 Scottish survey was also known as the 'Scottish Areas Crime Survey'. Since 1993, separate Scottish Crime Surveys have been conducted approximately once every three years - these are held at UKDA under SNs 3813 and 4542.

In 1994 a parallel survey was also carried out in Northern Ireland, with a sample size of 3,000. This survey is not currently held at the UKDA.

The Home Office Research Development Statistics directorate have their own BCS webpage, where further information and links to related Home Office publications may be found at:  

The 2000 BCS was the largest wave of the survey to date, with a target sample of 24,000 households in England and Wales, including an ethnic booster sample of 4,000 black and Asian adults. As with the pervious surveys, the aim was to gather information on respondents' experience of crime over the previous 13-14 months.

For the second edition of the study (December 2003), data from the sexual victimisation module was added to the dataset.  Users should note that access to the sexual victimisation module, and also the drugs-self completion module, requires special permission from the depositor, due to the sensitive nature of the information.  For details, please see the Access section below.

ESDS Government have developed a teaching dataset using a subset of variables from the 2000 BCS, which is held at the UK Data Archive under SN:4740.

Main Topics:

Topics covered included people's perceptions of their neighbourhood, fear of crime, victimisation experiences since 1st January 1999, and fires in the home since 1st January 1998. Two different versions of the follow-up questionnaire were used - Version A questioned respondents on whether they knew or had any contact with police officers, whether they had been stopped by the police either in a vehicle or on foot, police contact with the respondent, attitudes to the police and worries about crime. Version B questioned respondents on attitudes to sentencing, witnessing crime, Neighbourhood Watch, local crime partnerships/community action and security.

Self-completion forms were administered to respondents under 60 years of age, and covered drugs and sexual victimisation. The drugs section asked about drug knowledge and use, and the sexual victimisation section questioned women and men on experiences of sexual assault, rape or attempted rape, and the surrounding circumstances.

The opportunity was taken in the 2000 BCS to test questions on a range of topics for which the Home Office will in future conduct a separate 'Citizenship' survey. These questions included a measure of perceived racial prejudice and questions about participation in community activities.

The 2001 'Home Office Citizenship Survey' is held at the UK Data Archive under SN:4754.

Variable Groups

Full Title

British Crime Survey, 2000: X4L Teaching Pilot Sample

Identification Number


Authoring Entity

Name Affiliation
Home Office. Research, Development and Statistics Directorate
National Centre for Social Research


Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland

Funding Agency/Sponsor

Name Abbreviation Role Grant
Home Office

Data Distributor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation
UK Data Archive University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, England, CO4 3SQ UKDA


Name Affiliation Abbreviation
Home Office. Research, Development and Statistics Directorate

Date of Deposit


Date of Distribution



12 December 2003 (2nd Edition)

List of Keywords

Topic Classification

Time Period Covered

Start End Cycle
1999-01-01 To date of interview (13-14 months)

Date of Collection

Start End Cycle
2000 2000


England and Wales

Geographic Unit

Standard Regions

Unit of Analysis



Location of units of observation: National

Population: National sample of households and individuals aged 16 and over in England and Wales. One adult selected per household.

Kind of Data

Numeric data; Individual (micro) level

Time Method

Repeated cross-sectional study: biennial surveys

Data Collector

National Centre for Social Research

Sampling Procedure

Multi-stage stratified random sample

Major Deviations from the Sample Design

Core sample:  

Target: 20,000
Productive interviews: 19,437
Cases analysed: 19,411.

Ethnic booster sample:

Target: 4,000
Productive interviews: 3,892
Cases analysed: 3,874.

Mode of Data Collection

Face-to-face interview: survey conducted using laptop computers (CAPI); Self-completion


Weight used for individual-level analysis.


Availability Status

ESDS Government, UK Data Archive


Contact: Help desk:


Depositor has specified :- Registration required and standard access conditions apply.  Depositor may be informed about usage.

Related Materials

Technical Report - Part 1

Technical Report - Part 2

British Crime Survey Training Guide

Related Studies

For details of related studies and publications please see: UKDA Catalogue

Related Publications

Publications by Principle Investigator(s):

Technical reports and papers

Wood, D. (1982) British crime survey: technical report, London: SCPR.

NOP (1985) 1984 British Crime Survey: technical report, London: NOP.

NOP/SCPR (1988) 1988 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: SCPR.

Hales, J. (1993) 1992 British crime survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: SCPR.

White, A. and Malbon, G. (June 1995) 1994 British Crime Survey: technical report London: OPCS Social Survey Division.

Hales, J. and Stratford, N. (1996?) 1996 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: SCPR.

Hales, J. and Stratford, N. (1999) 1998 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: SCPR.

Hales, J. et al (2001) 2000 British Crime Survey (England and Wales): technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.

Budd, T. (2001) Burglary: practice messages from the British Crime Survey, Briefing Note 5/01, London: Home Office.

Kinshott, G. (2001) Vehicle related thefts: practice messages from the British Crime Survey, Briefing Note 6/01, London: Home Office.

Mattinson, J. (2001) Stranger and acquaintance violence: practice messages from the British Crime Survey, Briefing Note 7/01, London: Home Office.

Budd, T. and Sims, L. (2001) Antisocial behaviour and disorder: findings from the 2000 British Crime Survey, Findings 145, London: Home Office.

Scottish data:

Allen, D. and Payne, D. (1991) Crime prevention in Scotland - findings from the 1988 British Crime Survey, Scottish Office.

Allen, D. and Payne, D. (1991) The public and the police in Scotland - findings from the 1988 British Crime Survey, Scottish Office.

Payne, D. (1992) Crime in Scotland - findings from the 1988 British Crime Survey, Scottish Office.  

Kinsey, R. and Anderson, S. (1992) Crime and quality of life - public perceptions and experiences of crime in Scotland: findings from the 1988 British Crime Survey, Scottish Office.

Publications from Secondary analysis:

Pease, K. (1988) Judgements of crime seriousness : findings from the 1984 British Crime Survey, Research and Planning Unit Paper 44, London: Home Office.

Shah, R. and Pease, K. (1992) `Crime, race and reporting to the police' Howard Journal, 31, pp.192-199.

Webb, P.M. (1994) Housing tenure as a determinant of the decision to report vandalism to the police : secondary analysis of the 1988 British Crime Survey, England and Wales, Dissertation for MSc Social Research, University of Surrey, September.

Bucke, T. (1997) Ethnicity and contacts with the police : latest findings from the British Crime Survey, Research Findings No.59, Research and Statistics Directorate, London: Home Office.

Ramsay, M. and Spiller, J. (1997) Drug misuse declared in 1996 : latest findings from the British Crime Survey, Home Office Research Study 172, London: Home Office. ISBN 1-85893-917-8.

Hough, M. and Roberts, J. (1998) Attitudes to punishment : findings from the British Crime Survey, Home Office Research Study 179, London: Home Office. ISBN 1-84082-017-9.

Macdonald, Z. (1999) 'Illicit drug use in the UK' British Journal of Criminology, 39(4), pp.585-608.

Macdonald, Z. (2000) 'Illicit drug use, unemployment and occupational attainment' Journal of Health Economics, 19, pp.1089-1115. Macdonald, Z. (2000) 'The impact of under-reporting on the relationship between unemployment and property crime' Applied Economic Letters, 7, pp.659-663.

Macdonald, Z. and Pudney, S. (2000) 'Analysing drug abuse with British Crime Survey data: modelling and questionnaire design issues' Applied Statistics, 49(1), pp.95-117.

UKDA catalogue

Other References Note


Study Description: English;
Study Documentation: English


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