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Homicide in Scotland, 2012-13

Statistical bulletin on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland in 2012-13

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2. Main points

  • In 2012-13, Scottish police forces recorded 62 cases of homicide, as at 1 October 2013, a decrease of 32% from the 91 cases recorded in 2011-12. As at 1 October 2013, one of the homicide cases recorded in 2012-13 was unsolved (Table 1).
  • The 62 cases of homicide in 2012-13 involved 62 victims, 31 fewer victims than in 2011-12. This represented a rate of 12 victims per million population in Scotland, the lowest rate recorded in the ten year period covered by this bulletin and a decrease of 6 victims per million population compared to 2011-12 (Table 1).
  • In 2012-13, 39 (63%) of the 62 recorded homicide cases took place in the Strathclyde Police force area. Between 2011-12 and 2012-13 there was a decrease in the number of homicide cases recorded by six of the eight police forces. Homicide cases increased in the Grampian Police force area from one to five. The number of cases in the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary force area remained at one, the same number as in the previous two years (Table 2).
  • In 2012-13, 76% of all homicide cases occurred within a residential location, 19% of cases occurred in public places outdoors and 5% of cases occurred in public places indoors (Table 3).
  • In 2012-13, there were 50 male victims, 81% of all homicide victims. The overall homicide rate for males was 19 victims per million population, almost five times the rate for females which was four victims per million population (Table 5).
  • In the 61 solved homicide cases recorded in 2012-13, 83 persons have been accused as at 1 October 2013. This is 35% less than in 2011-12. Of the persons accused of homicide in 2012-13, 80% were male (Table 6).
  • In previous years, males aged 16 to 20 years were the most likely to be accused in homicide cases. However, in 2012-13 males aged 21 to 30 years were the most likely to be accused in homicide cases. The accused rate per million population was more than five times greater for 21 to 30 year old males, at 82 accused per million population, compared to the national average of 16 per million population (Table 6).
  • The most common method of killing in each of the last ten years was with a sharp instrument. In 2012-13, a sharp instrument was the main method of killing of 26 homicide victims (42%), 11 more homicide victims than second most common main method of killing, which was hitting and kicking. For the definition of a sharp instrument please see Note 4.10 (Table 7).
  • For 77% of homicide victims, in solved cases, in 2012-13, the main accused was known to them either as an acquaintance (56%), a partner or ex-partner (15%), or a relative (7%) (Table 8).
  • Of the 83 persons accused of homicide in 2012-13, 43% were reported to have been drunk and/or under the influence of drugs at the time; 36% were drunk, 5% were on drugs and 2% were both drunk and on drugs. For 32 of the persons accused in homicide cases in 2012-13, it was not known whether they were drunk or under the influence of drugs. This is 39% of all accused persons (Table 15).

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Email: Neil Henderson

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