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StopWatch response to 'Consultation on the Redesign of the Crime Survey for England and Wales'

Our response to the Office for National Statistics consultation on how questions are set for the national crime survey

StopWatch has drafted a response to the Office for National Statistics’s Consultation on the Redesign of the Crime Survey for England and Wales focused on module 18 of the survey’s self-completion module on ‘Gangs and Personal Security’.

Our interest in the part of the consultation that addresses the concept of ‘gangs’ stems from the lack of a clear definition.

What is a 'street gang'?

We are concerned that the suggested definition of a 'street gang' may be too broad to draw useful conclusions from any data generated and may in fact serve to justify existing racial biases in the way the police treat young people of colour. We believe this is particularly problematic for an organisation whose primary concern is to accurately measure things.

Please find a pdf of our response below, along with a list of signatories in support of our response. If you wish to add your name, please contact us at


  • Sam Grant, head of policy and campaigns, Liberty
  • Liz Fekete, director, Institute of Race Relations
  • Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury, senior lecturer, University of Manchester
  • Dr Patrick Williams, senior lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Neena Samota, St Mary's University
  • Professor Lee Bridges, emeritus professor, School of Law, University of Warwick
  • Tofunmi Odugbemi, communication and campaigns manager, Law for life
  • Kevin Blowe, campaigns coordinator, Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol)
  • Griff Ferris, senior legal and policy officer, Fair Trials
  • Richard Garside, director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

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