Wirral residents should be cautious, but not be alarmed, if they receive a knock at the door in the days after the 2021 Census, which takes place on 21st March.
These home visits are part of the follow-up exercise to the Census, carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Homeowners, particularly vulnerable residents, are rightfully sensitive to unexpected visits to their homes, however the ONS has provided the following guidance on how people can be sure that the person knocking at their door on 22nd March, or in the days afterwards, is there on official Census business.
- Ask them to confirm their identity and the purpose of their call. All officers will be carrying official identification cards, with photograph and their name.
- If people are still concerned, they can ask to see the officer’s ‘critical worker letter’, which will have a contact number on it for people to call.
- No officers will call before 9am or after 8pm.
- An official Census officers will never ask for any money or bank details at any point during the conversation with respondents.
- Census officers will not ask to enter your home.
This follow-up exercise is necessary for the ONS to gather the most accurate possible data. People will get a call if they have not already submitted their Census response on March 21st, or if they might need help with queries.
More than 29,000 officers will on the streets across England and Wales to conduct these visits.
They are classed as key workers, which means they are permitted under current lockdown law to leave their home for work - their duties cannot be carried out from home.
The health and safety of the public and the census field force is of the utmost importance and the visits have been planned with that consideration at the forefront. All officers will work in a socially distanced way; they will all be wearing PPE and they will not enter anyone’s home.
The Office for National Statistics has several important studies and surveys continuing alongside the census (more details here). It is, therefore, possible that an address will be visited by staff working on other surveys too.
If you have any questions about the 2021 census work being carried out in your authority, please phone the Partnership Team on 01329 447434. More information is also available at www.census.gov.uk, or you can email 2021Census.LA.Liaison@ons.gov.uk