Homicide in Scotland, 2011-12

Statistical bulletin on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland in 2011-12

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2. Main Points

  • In 2011-12, Scottish police forces recorded 88 cases of homicide, as at 6 November 2012, a decrease of 11% from the 99 cases recorded in 2010-11. As at 6 November 2012, two of the homicide cases recorded in 2011-12 were unsolved (Table 1).
  • The 88 cases of homicide in 2011-12 involved 90 victims, 11 fewer victims than in 2010-11. This represented a rate of 17 victims per million population in Scotland, the second lowest rate recorded in the ten year period covered by this bulletin after 2009-10, where the rate was 16 victims per million population (Table 1).
  • In 2011-12, 64% of all homicide cases occurred within a residential location, 31% of cases occurred in public places outdoors and 6% of cases occurred in public places indoors (Table 4).
  • In 2011-12 there were 71 male victims, 79% of all homicide victims. The overall homicide rate for males was 28 victims per million population, four times the rate for females which was seven victims per million population (Table 5).
  • In the 88 homicide cases recorded in 2011-12, 124 persons have been accused as at 6 November 2012. This is 13% less than in 2010-11. Of the persons accused of homicide in 2011-12, 93% were male (Table 6).
  • As in previous years, young males (aged 16 to 20 years) were the most likely to be accused in homicide cases. The accused rate per million population was more than six times greater for 16 to 20 year old males, at 148 accused per million population, compared to the national average of 24 per million population (Table 6).
  • The most common method of killing in each of the last ten years was with a sharp instrument. In 2011-12, a sharp instrument was the main method of killing of 47 homicide victims (52%), and was the main method of killing for over three times as many homicide victims as the second most common main method of killing, which was hitting and kicking. For the definition of a sharp instrument please see Note 4.9 (Table 7).
  • For 84% of homicide victims, in solved cases, in 2011-12, the main accused was known to them either as an acquaintance (60%), a partner or ex-partner (14%), or a relative (9%) (Table 8).
  • Of the 124 persons accused of homicide in 2011-12, 68% were reported to have been drunk and/or under the influence of drugs at the time; 58% were drunk, 4% were on drugs and 6% were both drunk and on drugs. For 21 of the persons accused in homicide cases, it was not known whether they were drunk or under the influence of drugs, this is 17% of all accused persons (Table 15).
  • In 2011-12, 51 of the 88 recorded homicide cases took place in the Strathclyde Police force area, this is 58% of all homicide cases. Between 2010-11 and 2011-12 there was a decrease in the number of homicide cases recorded by four of the eight police forces. Homicide cases increased in the Tayside Police force area from zero to ten, from three to five in the Fife Constabulary force area and from three to four in the Central Scotland Police force area. The number of cases in the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary force area remained constant across the two-year period at one case (Table 2).


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