Scottish Crime and Justice Survey
The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) is a social survey which asks people about their experiences and perceptions of crime in Scotland. The survey is an important public resource and for the government of Scotland.
The SCJS is a national survey, obtaining responses from around 12,000 adults (aged 16 and over) living in private households. Respondents are selected at random from the Postal Address File and participation in the survey is entirely voluntary. The survey is based on face-to-face interviews which and respondents are also asked to answer a separate self-completion module on more confidential and sensitive issues, including drug taking, partner abuse, sexual victimisation and stalking.
One of the key strengths of the SCJS is its ability to capture crimes that are not reported to, and subsequently not recorded by, the police. The survey also captures attitudinal data, such as perceptions of crime rates, fear of crime and attitudes towards the criminal justice system. Therefore, an important role of the SCJS is to provide an alternative and complementary measure of crime to the police recorded crime statistics, which provide statistics on crimes and offences recorded and cleared up by the eight legacy Scottish police forces. The findings from the SCJS are used by policy makers across the public sector in Scotland to help understand the nature of crime in Scotland, target resources and monitor the impact of initiatives to target crime.
Fieldwork for the SCJS 2012/13 was completed in March, 2013 and the results are now published. Fieldwork is currently underway for SCJS 2014/15 and will finish in March, 2015.