Crime surveys have a long history and the two most common types are self-report studies and victimization surveys. Critical survey researchers should always be vigilant about co-optation and the dangers of turning into ‘cheerful robots’ of the state. Critical criminologists prefer constructing the latter. Similarly, as a tool, a survey can be used in imaginative ways to enhance progressive, theoretically informed understandings of social problems and to aid the development of policies aimed at alleviating much pain and suffering. Data gleaned by the Crime Survey for England and Wales are also read and cited globally, but the survey that is arguably used the most for secondary data analysis is the National Crime Victimization Survey. There are some cases in which crime survey data have actually influenced governments to take progressive steps to reduce much pain and suffering endured by socially and economically excluded populations.