Homicide in Scotland 2022-23

Statistical bulletin on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland in 2022-2023.

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Main Motive

Tables 11-14

For the five-year period between 2018-19 and 2022-23 the main motive for committing homicide was known for 58% (167) of the 290 homicide victims where the homicide was solved. Of these 167 victims, the most common reasons for committing homicide were fight or quarrel, and rage or fury with 51% (86) of all victims where the motive was known killed in such circumstances. For a further 25% (41) of homicides where the motive was known, feud or faction rival was the main motive. (Table 11)

Thirty-four (65%) victims were reported to have been killed in drug-related homicide cases in 2022-23, of which 25 were male (Table 13). This is a decrease of 2 victims on the 36 reported in 2021-22. The number of drug-related homicide cases is higher over the past seven years than in preceding years, though Police Scotland advise that this may be due at least in part to an improvement in recording practice (i.e., better identification of where motives can include a drug-related element). Given this, users are advised to exercise some caution when comparing this variable with years prior to 2016-17.

None of the 52 homicides recorded in 2022-23 were reported to have a homophobic or racial motivation. For all homicides in the 10 years leading up to 2022-23, 1% had a homophobic or racist motivation (Table 14).


Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

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