Statistical Bulletin Criminal Justice Series CrJ/2003/9 HOMICIDE IN SCOTLAND, 2002
2. Key Points
- In 2002, there were 127 victims of the 125 homicide cases recorded by the police, 11 more victims than in 2001 and the highest annual total since 1996. This represented a rate of 25 victims per million population.
- The overall homicide rate in 2002 for males (44 victims per million population) was over five time the rate for females (8 per million population). The highest homicide rate for males was in the 21 to 29 age group (94 victims per million population); the highest rate for females was in the 16 to 20 age group (26 per million population).
- For most of the 127 victims in 2002, the main accused was known to them; 22 per cent were presumed to have been killed by a partner or other relative, 55 per cent by an acquaintance and 16 per cent by a stranger. For the remaining 4 per cent of victims the relationship was unknown or no accused person had yet been identified.
- As for previous years, the use of a sharp instrument was the most common method of killing in 2002, accounting for 68 victims (54 per cent of the total). This was the highest figure recorded in the last ten years, and this category of homicide was almost entirely responsible for the overall increase between 2001 and 2002 in the number of homicide victims.
- Of the 127 accused for homicides recorded in 2002 whose drink/drug status was known at the time of the homicide, 45 per cent were drunk, 10 per cent on drugs and 15 per cent were drunk and on drugs.
- In 2002, 18 victims (14 per cent of the total) were reported to have been killed in a drug- related homicide. None of the homicides recorded in 2002 were reported to have a racial or homophobic motivation.
- At 30 October 2003, 186 persons had been accused of the homicides recorded in 2002, the highest number since 1995. Eighty-nine per cent of the accused were male.
- Fifty-seven per cent of the 125 homicide cases recorded in 2002 have so far resulted in a conviction for murder (40 cases) or culpable homicide (31 cases). Fifty-one individual accused persons have been convicted of murder and 35 of culpable homicide in these cases.
- In the period 1993-2002, the local authority area with the highest average annual homicide rate was Glasgow City (55 victims per million population). This compared with an overall rate for Scotland of 22 victims per million. Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of homicide cases recorded in 2002 took place in the Strathclyde police force area.
- Between 1993 and 2002, approaching half (43 per cent) of homicides where the victim and main accused were both male aged 16-49, and where the main motive was a fight/rage/quarrel, took place at the weekend.