Data themes: Crime and social control

Resources for researching crime and social control may include data from subscription databases, publicly available data portals or archived academic projects. Some suggestions are:

Conflicts and Violence in Prison (1998–2000)
A data collection including quantitative and qualitative material collected from prisoners and prison staff who were participants or witnesses to violent incidents in prison. In addition to basic biographical and demographic details, information was collected about the extent and possible causes of these incidents.

Crime Survey for England and Wales
The Crime Survey for England and Wales provides an important source of information about levels of crime, public attitudes to crime and other related issues.

European Crime and Safety Survey (EU ICS)
Survey data which may be used as a tool for measuring the volume and nature of crime in Europe. Levels of victimisation and feelings of safety are compared across the EU and are independent of police records. The project is also known as the International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS).

Eurostat New Cronos Database  
Contains collection of statistics on crimes recorded by the police as well as data on police officer numbers, prison population and government expenditure on prison.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
A major archive of social science research data that holds information predominately relating to the United States but also has some additional collections. Data is available on a range of topics such as crime, legal systems, education, substance abuse and terrorism.

Mass Observation Online
Access to material from the pioneering ethnographic project ‘Mass Observation’. It includes the entire File Report sequence 1937-1972, access to all of the Day Surveys, Directives and Diaries, 1937-1967 and Mass Observation Publications 1937-1965. A searchable topic collection covers issues such as capital punishment, juvenile delinquency and anti-Semitism. The resource also includes interactive maps, bibliographic resources and essays on various aspects of Mass Observation.

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD)
A resource which accepts deposits of research data relating to crime and facilitates downloads and online analysis. Subjects covered include attitude surveys, court proceedings, delinquency, homicide studies and victimisation. A number of data resource guides are also available on subjects such as capital punishment in the United States, law enforcement management, prison populations and violence against women.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts Database (NCJRS)
The database contains summaries of over 174,000 U.S. and international publications, including federal, state, and local government reports, books, research reports, journal articles, audio-visual presentations, and unpublished research. The collection has been developed to meet the needs of criminal justice professionals, researchers, policymakers, and technical and legal experts. Unique elements of the collection include agency produced documents and final grant reports of Office of Justice Programs sponsored research. Documents are either written in English or have an English-language summary.

National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN)
Promotes scholarly exchange among researchers in the child maltreatment field by acquiring microdata from leading researchers and national data collection efforts and makes these datasets available to the research community for secondary analysis. NDACAN supports information-sharing through its Child Maltreatment Research List Serve and its Updata e-newsletter.

In cases where a University ‘institutional signature’ is required as part of the application process, this is supplied by the Bodleian Data Librarian (

Offending, Crime and Justice Survey (OCJS)
A series of UK surveys with data deposited and made available by the UK Data Service. The OCJS (also sometimes known as the Crime and Justice Survey), was the first national longitudinal, self-report offending survey for England and Wales. Content addresses an overall objective of measuring the prevalence of offending and drug use.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
A major source for global monthly, quarterly and annual data and statistics on trade and international development. Issues to do with crime, corruption and social control are included. Most of these surveys are made available through the UK Data Service but further analysis and commentary is provided by the OECD iLibrary.

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey
The main aim of the SCJS is to collect reliable statistics on people's experience of crime in Scotland and attitudes on a range of crime and justice related issues.

UK Crime Statistics
Crime statistic reports which breaks down official figures into categories such as: anti-social behaviour, burglary, criminal damage and arson, drugs, robbery, and violence and sexual offences.

United Nations Surveys on Crime Trends (CTS)
A resource and data site prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and which also reports on the operations of criminal justice systems. Access is provided to statistics on crime, corruption, drug use, drug trafficking and illicit crop monitoring. Other topics include crime prevention, firearms, HIV and AIDS, organised crime and forest crime.

World Bank Development Indicators
A collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates. Data comprises over 800 indicators covering more than 150 economies and includes corruption and confidence in judicial systems.

You can find further resources on this theme by using on Databases A-Z or SOLO and subject guides.

Recommendations for additions to these lists are always welcome. Please email the Bodleian Data Librarian with suggestions.