Multiple perpetrator violent events and variation in victims’ needs  

Dr Elouise Davies

As an early career researcher in Criminology, I am interested in violent crime, domestic violence and threats to kill. Specifically, my research has focused on the measurement and outcomes of violence and how the harms of violence differ for different types of victims.  

In Comparing Single Perpetrator and Multiple Perpetrator Violent Events in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) I look at the complex structure of violent events reported by CSEW participants. My aim was to compare the needs of victims of violence perpetrated by groups, with the needs of victims of violence perpetrated by a single offender.  

Victimisation surveys are the gold standard in measuring crime (Tilley and Tseloni 2016). They supplement police data. While police data can only capture crimes that are reported to the police, the CSEW captures up to 50% more by also including those events not reported to the police (ONS, 2020). We can use this to understand which types of crime and which victims are not appearing in police data.  

My analyses of CSEW data have revealed that victims of multiple perpetrator violent events more often report their experiences to the police than victims of single perpetrator violent events. They were also more likely to receive medical attention and treatment at hospital after the violent incident and were also more likely to have contact with victims’ services.   

These findings highlight how victims of violent events with one perpetrator may well be underrepresented in records drawn from police, health, and specialist services. It is important that research based on such data sources are aware of this issue in coverage.  

Further research is needed to investigate why some victims do not access services and how access to services can be improved for those who are currently underrepresented. 

For further information, please contact Elouise at


Tilley, N., & Tseloni, A. (2016). Choosing and Using Statistical Sources in Criminology: What Can the Crime Survey for England and Wales Tell Us? Legal Information Management, 16(2), 78-90.   

Office for National Statistics (2020) The nature of violent crime in England and Wales: Year ending March 2020. London: ONS.   

Photo by pikselstock /