Data Quality Statement
The statistics presented in this bulletin are based on a snapshot of Police Scotland's live homicide database at an agreed date. Police Scotland maintain a continuously updated list of homicide cases that the Scottish Government uses to populate its own database of homicides in Scotland.
Since it is a 'live' system, amendments to Police Scotland's database can arise after the data has been submitted to the Scottish Government (for example, an attempted murder may be reclassified to a murder years after the crime was first recorded by the Police). Our current practice is to make revisions retrospectively to data for earlier years to allow for these changes. Going forward we will continue to formalise our revisions policy for this bulletin and will keep users informed of developments.
The data provided by Police Scotland go through a series of validation checks. Anything flagged through these checks is sent back to Police Scotland for explanation. This year, as we formalise our revision policy, we will also work to explaining any discrepancies between Police Scotland's historical data and the Scottish Government's historical data. This work will help identify and quantify potential data quality concerns that might be created using a snapshot as opposed to a live database.
A full process map of how data are collected for this publication is shown in Chart 13, starting from incident reporting by police officers at an operational level to the publication of this bulletin.
Homicides are very high profile crimes, and - in many instances - discussed openly in public. Both Scottish Government statisticians and homicide specialists within Police Scotland consider it unlikely that any major errors exist (as opposed to the standard practice outlined above making revisions).
Chart 13: Homicide in Scotland data process, 2014-15
Email: Alastair Greig