About the Northern Ireland Safe Community Survey

The Northern Ireland Safe Community Survey (NISCS) is a representative, continuous, personal interview survey of the experiences and perceptions of crime of approximately 4,000 adults living in private households throughout Northern Ireland. Known as the Northern Ireland Crime Survey (NICS) until 2018/19, it was previously conducted on an ad hoc basis in 1994/95, 1998, 2001 and 2003/04; the NICS began operating on a continuous basis in January 2005.

Main Aims

An alternative, but complementary, measure of crime to offences recorded by the police, the main aims of the NISCS are to:

  • Measure crime victimisation rates experienced by people living in private households, whether or not these crimes were reported to or recorded by the police;
  • Monitor trends in the level of crime, independent of changes in reporting levels or police recording practices;
  • Measure people’s perceptions about and reactions to crime (for example, the level and causes of crime, the extent to which they are concerned about crime and the effect of crime on their quality of life);
  • Measure public confidence in policing and the wider criminal justice system;
  • Collect sensitive information, using self-completion modules, on people’s experiences regarding crime-related issues, such as sexual violence and abuse, illicit drugs and domestic violence.

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