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British Crime Survey under-estimates crime

David Green, 11 October 2004

According to a report on the Today programme and a report in the Observer on 3 October, the Government is wrong to attach so much weight to the British Crime Survey (BCS), which substantially under-estimates crime. The report is by a new think tank, the Crime and Society Foundation, established by Kings College London. It confirms the case that we at Civitas have argued for the last three years, namely that the BCS probably only measures about half of actual crime and possibly much less.
Among the crimes excluded are murder, drug offences, fraud and all crimes against commercial premises and against under 16s. In 2003-04 the BCS reported 11.7 million crimes, but our estimates (based on a method accepted by the Home Office) show that there were at least an additional 10.9 million. You can check out the Civitas estimates at this link.

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