Whilst there is a wealth of data on crime, social order and related issues, some studies are regarded as 'key' in the UK – either through their subject/geographical coverage, their methodology, their longevity, their usage among the research community or because they feed into the creation of 'official' figures and indicators.
The majority of the data described are known as 'raw', 'primary' or 'source' data in the sense that they represent information that has been collected 'first-hand': they are original data sources which may then be used for 'secondary' analysis by researchers not involved in the data collection process. The majority of these data are anonymised because they describe the attitudes, behaviour, circumstances and personal details of the individuals being studied. These
types of data are heavily used by the academic and government research communities.
The ESDS provides access to primary data sources.
Other research communities are less interested in these primary, and predominantly individual-level, data and are more likely to be consumers of information that has been published at the aggregate-level (e.g. crime figures released by the UK Home Office and police forces), or research reports based on information collected at interview. Whilst the ESDS holds some aggregate-level data of interest to crime researchers – corruption indices published by the World Bank, for example, and European data on recorded crime, homicide, prison populations and police, published by Eurostat – the ESDS is only one of many online resources that provide access to published data based on the crime and social order theme.