posted on Nov, 4 2002 @ 05:34 PM
The International Crime Victimisation Survey (ICVS) is the most far-reaching programme of fully standardised sample surveys looking at householders'
experience of crime in different countries. The first ICVS took place in 1989, the second in 1992, the third in 1996 and the fourth in 2000. Surveys
have been carried out in 24 industrialised countries since 1989, and in 46 cities in developing countries and countries in transition. This report
deals with seventeen industrialised countries which took part in the 2000 ICVS.
The reason for setting up the ICVS was the inadequacy of other measures of crime across country. Figures of offences recorded by the police are
problematic due to differences in the way the police define, record and count crime. And since victims report most crimes the police know about,
police figures can differ simply because of differences in reporting behaviour. It is also difficult to make comparisons of independently organised
crime surveys, as these differ in design and coverage.
For the countries covered in this report, interviews were mainly conducted by telephone (with samples selected through variants of random digit
dialling). The overall response rate in the 17 countries was 64%. Samples were usually of 2,000 people, which mean there is a fairly wide sampling
error on the ICVS estimates. The surveys cannot, then, give precise estimates of crime in different countries. But they are a unique source of
information and give good comparative information.
Each participating country paid for its own fieldwork. The Dutch Ministry of Justice also provided financial assistance for overheads. Technical
aspects of the surveys in many countries were co-ordinated by a Dutch company, Interview-NSS, who sub-contracted fieldwork to local survey companies.
The NSCR and Leiden University managed survey results.
The results in this report relate mainly to respondents' experience of crime in 1999, the year prior to the 2000 survey. Those interviewed were asked
about crimes they had experienced, whether or not reported to the police. The main results follow.