The Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, which reported in October 2010, led to a reduction in Home Office budgets and resulted in a reduction in available expenditure for the BCS from April 2012 onwards. Given the main component of BCS costs is interviewer fees and expenses, a reduction in the actual sample size is required. The Home Office is proposing a reduction in the annual sample size of the BCS from a nationally representative achieved sample of 46,000 adults (aged 16 or over) to 35,000 adults. This will reduce the number of achieved interviews with children (aged 10 to 15 years) from 4,000 to 3,100 per year. A new sample design is proposed that will preserve the ability to produce estimates with reasonable levels of precision at police force area level based on a minimum sample of 650 interviews with adults per year.
This proposal follows methodological work which considers the feasibility of boosting police force area sample sizes by re-contacting BCS respondents using different modes of data collection.