Census non-compliance query.

Mija made this Freedom of Information request to Office for National Statistics

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Office for National Statistics,

Please could you provide the following information:

1. In the 2001 census, how many people were prosecuted through the courts for non-compliance with stated requirements.

2. What percentage of the total number of households not complying did this represent?

3. What percentage of those prosecuted belonged to the following segments:
a) owner/occupier?
b) tenant?
c) other? Please specify

4. Can a named person be prosecuted when the census form is sent to a householder or occupier, or other such non-identifiable entity?

5. If the answer to Question 4 is yes, what sources are used to identify a person to be prosecuted?

Thank you for your attention

Yours faithfully,


Dear Office for National Statistics,

Please clarify and explain your delay in responding to this request

Yours faithfully,


Paul Wearn, Office for National Statistics

Our Reference: FOI01239/Mija/QE1

Dear Mija,
1. The number of people successfully prosecuted for failing to complete a
census questionnaire in the 2001 Census was 38.
This information was published in the 2001 Census General Report and also
in the 2001 Census non-compliance evaluation report both of which are
available on the website:



2. Not available. In 2001, the Census results represented 100 per cent
of the population. Total overall response was 98 per cent. This included
some 4 per cent of the population estimated to be resident in households
identified by enumerators but which, for a variety of reasons returns were
not made. Census response, that is the proportion of people included on a
census form in England and Wales, was 94 per cent.

Further information is available on the website at

3. Not available. Information on tenure status of the householder was not
collected as part of the prosecution process.

4. Yes. The statutory responsibility for making a return rests with the
householder, irrespective of to whomever the census form was addressed or

5. The Census (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 authorised census
officers to make such enquiries as were reasonably necessary to obtain the
particulars prescribed by the Census Order to be stated in the return. In
all cases where a prosecution was considered, an Interview under Caution,
following Police and Criminal Evidence Act rules was required to be
carried out by field staff. The name of the householder was required to be
given in such interviews.

Yours sincerely
You have the right to have this response to your freedom of information
request reviewed internally by an internal review process and, if you
remain unhappy with the decision, by the Information Commissioner. If you
would like to have the decision reviewed please write to Dennis Roberts,
Office for National Statistics, Room 1214, Government Buildings, Cardiff
Road, Newport, Gwent, NP10 8XG.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards,

Paul Wearn LLB (Hons)
Legal Services
Office for National Statistics

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