A Critique Of The British Crime Survey

The exclusion of the under 16 age group in the survey has raised concern from both the NSPCC and several other children's charities, that a great deal of crime against a vulnerable group is being missed and unreported. Genn (1982) also suggests that sexual and domestic crimes are under-reported in the BCS, however new touch screen computers for such incidents may help alleviate this concern. The survey sample for the BCS is collected from the postcode address file (PAF), which is in turn drawn up from the national census. Although the census is meant to be compulsory, the numbers of uncompleted census forms are increasing. Thus not all the population eligible to be included in the BCS will be included, these discrepancies do not fall into the realms of sampling error, as the numbers involved are relatively small in comparison to the overall survey. Comparisons between the sample proportions and the census proportions are therefore seen as a valid method of testing the validity and representativeness of the BCS sampling survey. The BCS has been criticised by Genn et al (1987)



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