Elliott, C. and
Ellingworth, D. (1997) 'Assessing the Representativeness of the
1992 British Crime Survey: The Impact of Sampling Error and Response
Sociological Research Online, vol. 2, no. 4, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/2/4/3.html>
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Received: 19/8/97 Accepted: 11/12/97 Published: 22/12/97
Figure 1: Different Sources of Error
Ps = the proportion from the sample;
P = the proportion from the population;
n = the sample size.
|No. of areas = 572||%||%||P-value|
|Two Pensioner Households||9.90||11.56||0.02|
|Owner Occupying Households||67.76||71.82||0.00|
|Under 5 Households||12.81||13.73||0.10|
|No Car Households||32.56||30.06||0.02|
|Single Parent Households||4.10||4.02||0.52|
|Age 16 to 24 year olds||12.73||16.16||0.00|
|Single Pensioner Households||15.08||14.03||0.09|
|Ethnic Minority Households||4.30||4.73||0.14|
|Single Non-pensioner Households||11.59||11.40||0.44|
|No. of regions = 10||N +||N -||Sig +||Sig -|
|Two Pensioner Households||9||1||2||0|
|Owner Occupying Households||8||2||5||1|
|Under 5 Households||9||1||1||0|
|No Car Households||1||9||0||4|
|Single Parent Households||6||4||0||0|
|Age 16 to 24 year olds||10||0||10||0|
|Single Pensioner Households||4||6||0||1|
|Ethnic Minority Households||7||3||2||0|
|Single Non-pensioner Households||6||4||1||2|
|Variable||Sum of squared postcode sector biases|
|Single Parent Households||1.90|
|Two Pensioner Households||3.71|
|16 to 24 year olds||4.19|
|Under 5 Households||5.48|
|Single Pensioner Households||5.92|
|Single Non-Pensioner Households||5.92|
|No Car Households||24.07|
|Region||No. of postcode sectors||Average of squared postcode sector biases|
|Property Crime Decile||No. of areas||Proportion of Expected Interviews Carried Out|
|Decile||Two Pensioner Hholds||Owner Occupier Hholds||Hholds with children under 5||Adult Females||Hholds with no car||Single Parent Hholds||Aged 16-24||Male Unemployed||Single Pensioner Hholds||Ethnic Minority Hholds||Single Non-Pensioner Hholds|
|2nd||2.58||5.29 **||0.96||-2.92 *||-5.20 **||-2.69||2.90 *||-2.20||-0.47||-3.05 *||-1.41|
|3rd||4.79 **||2.96||-0.37||-4.53 **||-5.87 **||-2.89 *||5.55 **||-2.09||-1.41||-0.86||-1.94|
|4th||3.83 *||1.79||0.26||-3.36 *||-3.04 *||-1.96||5.98 **||-1.89||-1.49||-2.02||-2.33|
|5th||0.81||1.87||-1.11||-3.83 *||-2.50||-1.01||12.68 **||-1.85||0.42||0.24||0.44|
|6th||0.73||0.62||0.68||-2.44||-3.01 *||-0.80||3.77 *||-2.19||-1.16||-1.71||-0.73|
|7th||3.57 *||0.65||-1.38||-2.62||-0.64||-0.60||8.31 **||1.63||-0.26||-2.15||-0.70|
|8th||1.54||1.06||0.38||-3.02 *||-3.38 *||-2.08||11.00 **||-1.41||-2.88 *||0.72||0.46|
|9th||2.24||3.43 *||2.30||-0.83||-4.54 **||2.10||11.10 **||-1.30||-3.00 *||-0.18||-1.57|
|10th||-1.22||-0.35||0.12||-3.24 *||-3.02 *||2.26||11.07 **||-0.82||-0.70||-2.50||-1.44|
|Dependent Variable||Response Rate Model||Incidence of Property Crime Model|
|Prop. of Vacant Housing||-0.02**||0.11**|
|Prop. of housing that is Flats||-0.05**|
|Single Parent households||0.01 *|
|Prop. of population aged 5-15||0.08**|
|Prop. of Council Housing||0.04*|
Figure 2: First Scenario
Figure 3: Second Scenario
Figure 4: Third Scenario
would weight the responses so that each area has an equal representation in any analysis. Analysis of surveys that show a wide disparity in response rates across different areas may be made more reliable by such a weighting procedure.
2 Ideally, we would employ a simultaneous equation estimation technique, but this could not be employed, as it required the a priori selection of at least a slightly different set of demographic factors to be associated with each dependent variable.
3 See data appendix for the list and definition of all explanatory variables employed.
4 An additional variable was included here; the proportion of vacant properties. This is not included in the earlier analysis as it is not available in the BCS data, as the datafile only includes completed interviews. While we know from the BCS Technical Report (Hales, 1992) that nationally 5.2% of the attempted sample was vacant, and a further 0.5% were identified as not yet built or occupied, we cannot break the data down to specific areas. Clearly the number of vacant properties has a direct impact on response rates, and less directly on crime rates, so the census-derived variable was used here.
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The proportion of all permanent households containing two or more pensioners, and nobody else. Pensioners are defined as men aged 65 or over, and women aged 60 or over.
The proportion of all permanent households containing two or more pensioners. Pensioners are defined as above.
The proportion of all households which are owned or being bought by the occupiers. Homes which are tied to a job, and shared-ownerships are not included (this is not a category in the BCS at all).
The proportion of all households with at least one child under 5 years of age.
The proportion of households not owning a car, van, or other motor vehicle (not including motorbikes).
The proportion of households containing only one adult, and at least one child.
The proportion of the population aged between 16 and 24.
The proportion of all households exclusively containing one pensioner. Pensioners are defined as above.
The proportion of all households containing exclusively one non-pensioner, and no children.
The proportion of economically active males who are unemployed, or on a government training scheme.
The proportion of economically active male heads of household who are unemployed.
The proportion of heads of household who describe themselves as Black (Caribbean, African or other Black); Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi; Chinese; or other non-White.
Proportion of Two Pensioner Households
Proportion of Households with no Car
Proportion of Single Pensioner Households