Publication - Statistics

Homicide in Scotland, 2002

Published: 26 Nov 2003
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
0755924215

Statistics on homicide in Scotland, 2002

34 page PDF

774.8 kB

34 page PDF

774.8 kB

Contents
Homicide in Scotland, 2002
Page 3

34 page PDF

774.8 kB

Statistical Bulletin Criminal Justice Series CrJ/2003/9 HOMICIDE IN SCOTLAND, 2002

3. Homicide cases (Tables 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5)

3.1 The statistics quoted in this section refer to cases currently (i.e. as at 30 October 2003) recorded as homicide. A case of homicide refers to one incident, and may involve more than one victim or accused person.

3.2 The police recorded 125 cases of homicide in 2002, 12 more than in 2001 and the highest annual total since 1995. In all but two of these cases the police had found a suspect. Of these cases, 71 have so far resulted in convictions, 40 for murder and 31 for culpable homicide.

Table A: Status of cases currently recorded as homicide, as at 30 October 2003

Crime and Status

Year recorded

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

All homicide cases

114

108

132

115

90

94

118

104

113

125

Cases resulting in conviction

68

77

90

90

64

63

80

71

75

71

Murder

34

40

48

43

24

40

52

33

39

40

Culpable Homicide

34

37

42

47

40

23

28

38

36

31

Other (1)

46

31

42

25

26

31

38

33

38

54

Murder

38

26

30

22

20

22

30

23

30

38

Culpable Homicide

8

5

12

3

6

9

8

10

8

16

(1) Includes cases which were either unsolved or pending at 30 October 2003, or where the accused had no proceedings taken against them or were acquitted.

3.3 Homicide cases involving more than one victim remain rare. There was only one such case in 2002, which is little different from the position in previous years ( Table 2). Thirty-six (29 per cent) of the homicide cases recorded in 2002 involved more than one accused.

3.4 In 2002, 81 of the 125 recorded homicide cases were in the Strathclyde police force area, 65 per cent of the total. The overall increase between 2001 and 2002 in the number of recorded homicide cases largely reflects the increase in the number of cases recorded by Strathclyde, though there were also increases for Central, City of Edinburgh and Dundee City. For other force areas the number of cases recorded in 2002 was either the same as or below the level in 2001.

3.5 The most common location of homicide cases in 2002 was within a dwelling (62 per cent of all cases), followed by a street or footpath (25 per cent). This pattern has remained fairly consistent from year to year ( Table 5). Chart 2 shows the distribution of homicide cases by location type over the 10 years covered by this bulletin.

Chart 2: Location of homicide cases, 1993-2002

chart

3.6 The majority (70 per cent) of solved homicide cases in the decade 1993-2002 involved males killing males. Cases where the main accused and main victim were both female amounted to just over 2 per cent of homicide cases. Table B shows the distribution of the sex of main accused and main victim for all of the solved cases. Also given is the percentage of homicides in each category which are currently recorded as murder. It can be seen that cases where a male is killed by a female are more likely to have a current classification of culpable homicide rather than murder.

Table B: Sex of main accused and main victim in solved homicide cases, 1993-2002

Sex of main victim

Male

Female

Sex of main accused

Male

768

212

(% murder)

(60)

(65)

Female

92

24

(% murder)

(40)

(75)

3.7 Chart 3 shows a breakdown of the relationship between the main accused and main victim in each of the categories of homicide included in Table B. In the majority (67 per cent) of cases where a male was accused of killing another male, the victim and accused were acquaintances. In 58 per cent of cases where a female was accused of killing a male, the accused and victim were partners. This was also the relationship in 53 per cent of cases where a male was accused of killing a female.

Chart 3: Relationship between main accused and main victim in solved homicide cases, 1993-2002

chart

3.8 Homicides recorded by the police make up only a very small proportion of all recorded violent crime; 0.2 per cent between 1993 and 2002 ( Table 4). The trend in the number of recorded homicides followed a roughly similar pattern to trends for the number of recorded attempted murders and serious assaults ( Chart 4).

Chart 4: Trends in selected violent crimes, 1993-2002 (index 1993)

chart

4. Victims of homicide ( Table 6)

Age and sex ( Table 6)

4.1 In total there were 127 victims in the 125 homicide cases recorded in 2002, 11 more than in 2001 and the highest annual total since 1996. This represented a rate of 25 victims per million population.

4.2 Eighty-three per cent of homicide victims in 2002 were male. The overall homicide rate for males (44 victims per million population) was over five times the rate for females (8 per million population). The highest homicide rate recorded in 2002 for males was for the 21 to 29 age group (94 victims per million population); the highest rate for females was the 16 to 20 age group (26 per million population).

Chart 5: Victims(1)per million population, by age and sex, 2002

chart

1. Currently (as at 30 October 2003) recorded as homicide victims.

Chart 6: Homicide victims(1), by age and sex, 1993-2002

chart

1. Currently (as at 30 October 2003) recorded as homicide victims.

Day of the week ( Chart 7)

4.3 In the period 1993 to 2002, almost two-fifths (37 per cent) of all homicide victims were killed on a weekend. The proportion of homicide victims killed on a weekend was most pronounced for males aged 16 to 49 killing other males aged 16 to 49 where the main motive was a fight/rage/quarrel. Almost half (43 per cent) of such killings occurred on a weekend. Homicides where the main accused was a partner or ex-partner of the victim were more evenly spread across the week, 34 per cent of these occurring on a weekend.

Chart 7: Homicide victims by the day of the week the homicide took place, 1993-2002

All victims
chart
Male victims aged 16-49 where main accused male aged 16-49 and main motive rage/fight
Victims where main accused was partner or ex-partner

chart

chart

Geographical location (Chart 8)

4.4 The prevalence of homicide varies considerably throughout Scotland. Chart 8 shows a breakdown by council area of the average annual number of victims per million population for the ten years covered by this bulletin. Over this period the average annual homicide rate for Scotland as a whole was 22 victims per million population. The highest rates of homicide victims per million population were observed in Glasgow (55), followed by Stirling (37), Inverclyde (37) and West Dunbartonshire (37). The lowest rates were observed in Midlothian (4), Scottish Borders (7) and Eilean Siar (7). Of the main urban areas, Aberdeen had the lowest homicide rate, at 17 victims per million population.

Chart 8: Homicide rates (victims per million population) by Council Area, 1993-2002

map