FRIDAY, MAR. 4: Anyone refusing to take part in the Census will be fined $1,000.

Residents could be forced to pay a further $1,000 each day for each day they fail to give information about household occupants.

Government made the warning this week as it works to meet its deadline of data from 90 per cent of households by March 31.

Up to 75 per cent of homes have so far been surveyed, with 10,000 outstanding. Under the 2002 Statistics Act, people have a legal requirement to supply information for statistical purposes.

Valerie Robinson James, Government director of statistics, said: “It is critically important to make residents aware that if they  refuse or neglect to provide the Census data they are guilty of an offence under the law.

“The law has been enforced in the past for non-compliance.”

Ms Robinson James said 2010 Census data collection had been hampered by a shortage of interviewers. The original deadline of surveying at least 90 per cent of households was September 30 but it had to be extended. By November, only 51 per cent of households had been interviewed.

Ms Robinson James said: “The primary reason for the shortage of interviewers was a concern for safety and security.”

A piloting of telephone Census interviews had proved a success in Smith’s parish in December.

Since then, all residents have been given the opportunity to book telephone interviews.

Ms Robinson James said: “Although telephone appointments increased, at the end of January the department compiled a significant list of household addresses that interviewers reported were persons who outright refused to provide the census data when they were visited at home.

“Refusals and the neglect to provide Census data comprises non-compliance to the law.”

Government hopes the threat of a $1,000 fine will compel people to respond before the deadline.

So far “roughly 75 per cent” of homes have been surveyed but 10,000 assessment numbers are outstanding.

If you have to be surveyed, call 297-7761 or e-mail statistics@gov.bm. You can also visit the Census Interview Centre in the Washington Mall, Monday to Friday from 10am-3pm. Or visit the Department of Statistics, 48 Cedar Avenue, on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.