Statistics quoted in this section refer to cases currently recorded as homicide, as at 9 December 2014. A case of homicide refers to one incident and may involve more than one victim and/or accused person.
The statistics on homicides are used to inform National Outcome 9 - 'we live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger' as well as The Strategy for Justice in Scotland. These statistics are also used by a wide range of stakeholders to monitor trends, for policy research and development, and for research purposes. The 'Homicide in Scotland' statistical bulletin forms part of a series of bulletins produced by the Scottish Government on the criminal justice system.
The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 changed the policing landscape in Scotland, replacing the previous eight police forces, the Scottish Police Services Authority and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency from 1 April 2013. Police Service of Scotland is now responsible for operational policing in Scotland and will be held to account by the Scottish Police Authority. The statistics set out in this bulletin cover the year immediately following the establishment of the Police Service of Scotland (referred to throughout this report as Police Scotland).
This bulletin contains detailed information on the crimes of murder and Culpable homicide (common law). These two crimes are collectively referred to as Homicide in this bulletin. The Scottish Government also publishes the Recorded Crime in Scotland bulletin series that contains data on the Homicide etc. category. The Homicide etc. category contains the crimes of Murder and Culpable homicide (common law), as well as the crimes of Causing death by dangerous driving, Death by careless driving when under influence of drink or drugs, Causing death by careless driving, Illegal driver involved in fatal accident and Corporate homicide.
As the data in this bulletin are collected separately from the data included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland bulletin, the data are extracted from police recording systems at different time points which may result in reclassification of crimes, such as attempted murder to murder, which are not reflected in the Recorded Crime in Scotland bulletin. In this bulletin homicide cases are included against the year in which the incident that led to the homicide is first recorded by the police. This is not necessarily the year in which the victim dies, the year in which the accused is brought to trial for the crime, or the year in which the case is finally disposed of by the courts. This may lead to minor differences between the figures reported in Recorded Crime in Scotland bulletin and this bulletin, as well as those published by the police.
Email: Alastair Greig
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