UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science


UCL Community Survey

Thank you for taking part in the UCL Community Survey! Please read on to find out a little bit more about our work.

We invited 30,000 people in two London boroughs to participate in our study and have received more than 1,200 responses. We have now completed the first round of data analysis and would like to share the results with you.

What was the goal of our study?

The aim of our survey was to better understand residents' experiences of living in different parts of their borough and the problems they may face in their community. You may remember that we asked you many questions about the neighbourhood you live in: how people there interact with one another, if they know one another, work together, get involved if problems arise. Your answers to these questions helped us to get an idea of how close-knit, cohesive or transient your neighbourhood is.

We also asked you about problematic behaviours in your neighbourhood - not whether you engage in these behaviours, but whether you have observed them. These problematic behaviours included minor crimes and illicit behaviour, such as vandalism, speeding or drug use. We also asked you whether extremist groups might be active in your neighbourhood, as this is one of the key challenges many communities in the country are facing.

Overall, we intended to study whether communities that are more close-knit and cohesive, where residents support and trust one another more, experience fewer problematic behaviours.

What are our findings so far?

We found that different neighbourhoods vary in terms of the level of social cohesion, how much neighbours trust each other, the extent to which neighbours would get involved if problems were to arise, as well as how transient the neighbourhoods are. In addition, the data also indicates that neighbourhoods differ largely with respect to the types of problematic behaviour that are reported and the overall frequency of reported problematic behaviour. Importantly, and in line with our hypothesis, neighbourhood characteristics are related with reported problematic behaviour. However, not all neighbourhood characteristics play a role. Transience - how many strangers are in a neighbourhood - and whether people living in a neighbourhood would intervene if problems were to arise are associated with a higher likelihood of problematic behaviours.

We have not completed all of our analyses. For example, we want to examine whether in neighbourhoods that have places where people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds can interact it is less likely that problematic behaviours are reported. We will update this page with the new findings, so please come back if you are interested.

If, after learning about the results of our study, you have any questions, please contact Dr Sandy Schumann.