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, a serious assault may be reclassified to a culpable homicide some time after the crime was first recorded by the police). To allow for these changes, we currently make retrospective revisions to earlier data for all years since the formation of Police Scotland (i.e. 2013-14 onwards). There is one such case in 2015-16 - as such the total number of homicide victims for 2015-16 has been revised upwards from 57 (published last year) to 58 (as presented in this publication, see Table 1). Previous revisions are detailed in Homicide in Scotland, 2015-16.
We are currently working with Police Scotland to review our longer term historical data with a view to identifying whether any further revisions are required for years prior to 2013-14. Any additional changes are likely to be small and will not change the trends and characteristics of homicide presented in this bulletin. The outcome of this review and any amendments required for data for previous years will be included in future publications.
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.
A full process map of how data are collected for this publication is shown in Chart 14, 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 for making revisions).
Chart 14 Homicide in Scotland data process
Email: Mark Bell