Homicides at an all time low

Number of victims has more than halved in 15 years

The number of homicides across Scotland last year has reached their lowest point since records began in 1976.

The latest official figures, released today, show 53 people were the victim of homicide in 2021-22, six less than the previous year and down 54% over the past 15 years.

This year, Scottish Government has provided partners with over £2 million for ongoing and new innovative violence prevention activity across Scotland, including an increase of 14% to the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit’s budget.

This funding builds on more than £24m in government investment since 2008, as part of sustained efforts to prevent violence. This includes providing more than £16m to the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit and over £4.5m to No Knives, Better Lives, a nationwide programme aimed at deterring young people from anti-social behaviour and carrying knives.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “Scotland continues to be a safe place to live and this latest reduction in homicides is in line with the significant downward trend seen in other categories of violent crime over the past 15 years.

“However every death caused by homicide is a tragedy that leaves grieving families and friends in its wake, which is why tackling all forms of violent crime continues to be a top priority for this Government.

“We are continuing to make considerable investment in supporting prevention work with people of all ages and ensuring Scotland's law enforcement agencies and courts have the resources to deal with those who harm others.

“In recognition of the fact that more than half of female victims were killed by a partner or ex-partner, we are working on additional measures which will help prevent and reduce the number of homicides related to domestic abuse and give a voice to those who have been killed. 

“We remain committed to working closely with both the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Police Scotland to support the delivery of the Joint Policing Strategy to ensure we continue to have a safe, protected and resilient Scotland.”

The full statistical publication can be accessed at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/homicide-scotland-2021-22/ 


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