This is a case study for Principle Q1: Suitable data sources.

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) is an annual, large-scale, continuous survey carried out by the Scottish Government that measures adults’ experiences and perceptions of crime in Scotland.

The Scottish Government appointed a consortium of two contractors to jointly deliver the SCJS from 2016/17 under a single contract. Fieldwork is shared jointly across both organisations, while Ipsos MORI focuses on the content and questionnaire development, and ScotCen is responsible for data processing, from data cleaning through to delivery of final data sets.

The Scottish Government maintains a close and effective working relationship with the contractor consortium to manage and deliver the survey:

  • It established appropriate safeguards by specifying the roles, data requirements, delivery arrangements and communication channels between the survey team in Scottish Government and the contractor consortium
  • When setting up the contract, the statistical team modernised the data coding and processing arrangements for the ‘offence codes’ used to classify incidents, to ensure a smooth transition to the new contractors

The Scottish Government carried out a range of activities to decide on the survey design, including meeting with users and potential contractors. It also produces a detailed technical report with information about the survey design and delivery, including the sample design and selection and the survey response.

This approach gives the Scottish Government and users of the statistics confidence in the suitability and quality of the data sources and data collection process.