Taking part in MOPAC's surveys

We use a survey - called the Public Attitude Survey or PAS - to help us to understand what Londoners are thinking about policing and crime. This helps us to make sure that the decisions we make are in line with the views of the people we serve.

The survey involves 12,800 randomly selected Londoners every year, and our survey company is contacting people across the city all year round to see if they want to participate. This page answers the questions we are most frequently asked about the survey.

Someone's come to my door from Opinion Research Services saying they're running a survey on your behalf - is this true?

Yes - we use a company called Opinion Research Services (ORS) to carry out our Public Attitude Survey of Londoners.

ORS provide all interviewers with ID badges in order to identify themselves as genuine callers on arrival at each address - please ask to see their identification if you are not sure.

There is no obligation to take part, and you should not feel under any pressure to speak to them if you don't want to.

All of our interviewers must pass police background checks, and their performance is monitored to ensure they comply with industry standards.

Why are you running the survey?

The Public Attitude Survey is crucial in shaping policing in London and has been running since the 1980s. The survey provides the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) with reliable measures of public perceptions - one of the top priorities for the organisation. What we find out through the survey is carefully analysed and the findings are regularly used at decision making boards to ensure issues such as legitimacy, fairness, effectiveness and public priorities are at the centre of policing in London.

How did you choose me as someone to survey?

The Public Attitude Survey is designed to be representative of London residents by using something called a 'random probability sampling' method. This means that all London households have an equal chance of being selected to take part, giving residents the best opportunity to share their views with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). This is the strongest research design and is used widely by organisations running surveys.
The Postcode Address File is used to randomly select addresses and ORS interviewers call at various times of the day, to ensure a representative sample of respondents is achieved.

Why do you need to talk to me face-to-face?

Face to face is the best and most reliable approach to surveying, and allows interviewers to build a rich picture of the views and experiences of the respondent. If an alternative methodology was used (e.g. postal surveys), it would not be possible to guarantee a good return rate. It would also make it much more difficult to ensure that we are hearing from a truly representative group of Londoners - as respondents are self-selecting.

How will I know if an interviewer is going to be coming to my area?

Ahead of interviewers visiting an area, we send 'pre-alert letters' to residential addresses - this was following feedback that it would help to alert residents to the surveying activity taking place in the local area. The survey methodology, and the pre-alert letter process, is closely matched to the Crime Survey of England and Wales which is run by the Home Office. To ensure best response rates, ORS do visit addresses after the letters have been distributed, as well as offering residents the opportunity to book an appointment at a convenient time.

I don't want to take part in the survey. Can I ask not to be visited?

Participation in our survey is purely voluntary. Please don't feel under any pressure to take part if you don't want to.

If you don't want to be contacted for future surveys, please let us know, providing your name and address. We will then ask ORS to remove this from their sample list, which will prevent interviewers from visiting your address in future waves of the survey.

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