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29,000 census collectors start work today

Census collectors start their house-to-house work yesterday, contacting householders in England and Wales who have so far not returned their 2011 census forms.

Three quarters of forms returned

Seven million households have still not completed and returned their census questionnaires

The 29,000 collectors will target the seven million households who have still not completed and returned their census questionnaires.

So far nearly three quarters of households have completed and returned their forms, but the picture varies across the regions. The North East is leading the way with 75 per cent of forms returned so far. The lowest return rate is in London with 60 per cent of forms completed and returned.

2011 Census Director Glen Watson said today: “I am pleased that nearly three quarters of the questionnaires have come back just nine days after Census Day.

“I expected to see that London is the most challenging area with such a transient and diverse population. That’s why we have deliberately targeted the capital to meet this challenge with almost 6,000 collectors in London alone.”

Census collectors

All 2011 Census field staff wear photo identification badges and carry other visibly branded items

The census collectors’ main role is to ensure questionnaires are completed and returned. They have all received online and classroom training to assist them with their role.

Collectors’ duties also include:

  • clarifing census instructions and assisting in form-filling where necessary
  • answering people’s census queries
  • pointing out the benefits for the local community of filling in the census form
  • ensuring confidentiality and security of census information at all times
  • reminding people filling in the form is a legal requirement
  • reporting where a refusal is encountered
  • receiving the completed census form

All 2011 Census field staff wear photo identification badges and carry other visibly branded items. Collectors will never ask anyone for bank account details.

If householders are at all unsure about the identity of anyone claiming to be from the census, they should ask to see their proof of identity before answering any questions. If they still have concerns should contact the census helpline on 0300 0201 101 in England or the Welsh helpline 0300 0201 130.

Further information

IRMS On-Demand Webinar: What we learned from speaking to CIOs across the public sector and regulated industries.