Victim Satisfaction Surveys Frequently Asked Questions

Why conduct victim surveys?

The majority of forces within England and Wales will conduct victim satisfaction surveys with specific victim groups as the result of a previously mandated Home Office requirement.

The offence types covered by the surveys are:

  • Domestic burglary - burglary in a dwelling, including aggravated and attempted burglary
  • Violent crime - wounding, assault and personal robbery
  • Vehicle crime - theft of and from a motor vehicle, including aggravated and attempted vehicle taking
  • Hate crime - crimes which are motivated by a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability
  • Anti-social behaviour

In addition to the above, Cheshire Constabulary are also required to survey a sample of persons who have been the victim of Domestic Abuse.  Unlike the surveys we have already mentioned, this is a mandated requirement set by the Home Office.

Are we conducting these surveys in-house?

No – the force uses Leicestershire Constabulary to conduct our victim satisfaction surveys. The force has worked with Leicestershire for several years. 

What methodology are we using to conduct surveys?

Surveys are conducted via a telephone interview. This methodology yields better response rates than other techniques (e.g. 45 to 55% telephone, 20 to 25% paper). Use of a telephone survey also allows the force to gather data from those individuals who would be unlikely to return a paper survey, which ultimately means that the information gained, is more reliable and valid.

How are people selected to take part?

Probability sampling techniques are used to select the sample, in order to ensure that each member of the sampling population (i.e. victims of the crime types specified earlier) has an equal chance of being selected. Care is also taken to ensure that the ‘profile’ of respondents reflects the profile of the victim group in age, gender and ethnicity.

Sample details are sent to Leicestershire Constabulary on a monthly basis in a safe and secure manner and in accordance with Data Protection guidelines.

Are there any exclusions?

Cheshire Constabulary applies the following exclusions either before or after the sample is selected:

  • Victims below the age of 16
  • Where the offender was another family member e.g. sibling/parent/child of the victim
  • Where the offender was a partner or former partner of the victim
  • Victims who are members of the police service or police authority
  • Victims for whom the survey would cause undue distress or who were involved in a very serious injury
  • Victims who are considered vulnerable, e.g. victims with mental health problems or who are elderly
  • Victims who have requested no further police action
  • Victims who will not co-operate with the police investigation
  • Victims already contacted several times in 12 months
  • When the incident is part of an on-going neighbour dispute.

What information is passed to Leicestershire?

Sample data provided to Leicestershire contains the following information:

  • Crime/Incident Reference number
  • Full Name of victim
  • Telephone Number of victim
  • Home Address of victim (for Domestic Abuse victims only to enable additional verification)
  • Crime Type
  • Crime/Incident Reported Date
  • Basic overview of the crime / incident
  • Local Authority
  • Crime Outcome (where known)

How is my information passed to Leicestershire?

Sample data is sent on an Excel spreadsheet via a secure police network using a .pnn email address.  This email is marked as SENSITIVE.  Completed survey results are sent back to Cheshire via the same process.  

How often are we conducting our surveys?

We try to conduct surveys within 6-12 weeks of a crime or incident being reported. This is to give time for follow-up action by the force, but also ensure that the crime / incident and subsequent service received is relatively fresh in the respondent’s mind.

Do people have to take part?

No – all respondents are given a choice as to whether they wish to complete the survey or not. If respondents choose not to participate, they are simply thanked for their time and their number is removed from the sample database. People can also choose to terminate the interview at any point if they feel uncomfortable answering the questions posed.

Are residents given a point of contact within force to check legitimacy of the call?

Yes – if residents express distress or a need to verify legitimacy of the call, a contact name and number of a member of staff within the Data Delivery Team of Cheshire Constabulary is supplied by Leicestershire.

Will numbers be passed on to a third party?

No – telephone numbers will only be used for this specific project and destroyed after use. No numbers will ever be passed on to a third party for further calls.

Is the information given by respondents kept safe?

Yes – Leicestershire Constabulary are governed by the same laws and legislation as any other Constabulary e.g. Data Protection Legislation, the Official Secrets Act and confidentiality rules.

How long do Leicestershire keep my information for?

As per the terms outlined in our current contract with Leicestershire, both sample and response data is stored within secure, password protected files on police servers based within the United Kingdom.  All data collected in relation to the survey process is deleted by Leicestershire Police within 3 months of receipt and collection.

Any survey results shared with Cheshire are stored on our secure police servers based within the United Kingdom.  We will review and retain personal information in accordance with force policies and the NPCC Review Retention and Disposal Schedule

Is the process lawful?

Yes. Surveys are necessary for the performance of a task which is carried out in the public interest. This task is in accordance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Your rights

Please visit www.cheshire.police.uk/about-us/data-protection/ for further information on how the Constabulary uses your personal data, including your Rights under the Data Protection legislation and how you can complain to the Force Data Protection Officer or the Information Commissioner.

What about the Telephone Preference Service (TPS)?

Although the Telephone Preference Service allows members of the public to opt out of unsolicited sales or marketing calls, it does not exempt them from being legitimately contacted and asked to participate in genuine research.

The following exemption comes directly from the TPS website front page:

“As TPS registration only prevents marketing calls, organisations will still be able to call you for the purposes of genuine market research”