HOMICIDE IN SCOTLAND, 2010-11
14 December 2011
Scotland's Chief Statistician today published the latest figures on the number of homicides recorded by the 8 Scottish police forces in 2010-11. Summary information for the period 2001-02 to 2010-11 is provided below. The complete version of the Homicide in Scotland statistical bulletin is published biennially and is next scheduled for publication in 2012.
Homicide cases and victims ( Table 1)
In 2010-11, there were 95 homicide cases recorded by the police in Scotland. These homicide cases resulted in the death of 97 victims, an increase of 18% compared to the 82 homicide victims that were recorded in 2009-10. The number of homicide victims per million population was 19 in 2010-11, compared with 16 in 2009-10 (see Annex 1.10).
Homicide cases by police force area ( Table 2)
Between 2009-10 and 2010-11, there was a decrease in the number of homicide cases recorded in Fife (from 5 to 2), Grampian (from 6 to 5) and Tayside (from 7 to 0) police force areas. Strathclyde police force area, which contained 43% of the estimated population of Scotland in 2010 (see Annex 1.10), accounted for 64% (61) of all homicide cases recorded in 2010-11, increasing from 55% (44) of all cases in 2009-10.
Lothian and Borders and Northern police force areas reported an increase in the number of homicide cases recorded between 2009-10 and 2010-11, rising from 12 cases to 20 and 3 cases to 4 respectively. The number of homicide cases recorded in both Central (3) and Dumfries and Galloway (0) police force areas remained constant between 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Location of homicide cases ( Table 3)
In 2010-11, the most common location for homicides to occur was within a residential house or dwelling (64% of all homicide cases), followed by a street or footpath (22%). This distribution has remained consistent over the 10 year period covered by this statistical release.
Chart 1: Homicide victims per million population by age and gender, Scotland, 2010-11
Age and gender of homicide victims ( Table 4 and Chart 1)
The rate of male homicide victims (30 per million population) was more than 4 times the rate for female homicide victims (7 per million population). There were 77 male homicide victims in 2010-11, 79% of the total number of victims recorded. Males aged less than 1 year represented the highest victim rate with 100 homicide victims per million population recorded in 2010-11.
Chart 2: Victims of homicide by main method of killing, Scotland, 2010-11
Main method of killing(Table 5 and Chart 2)
The most common method of killing in the 10 year period covered by this statistical release was with a sharp instrument (see Annex 1.8). In 2010-11, 61 homicide victims were killed by a sharp instrument, accounting for 63% of all homicide victims recorded.
Age and gender of accused persons ( Table 6)
A total of 138 accused persons were identified for the homicides that were recorded in 2010-11. As in previous years, the majority (80%) of accused persons were male, with nearly half (45%) of all accused being males aged between 16 to 30 years.
Relationship of main accused to victim ( Table 7)
For 96 of the 97 homicide victims recorded in 2010-11, 1 or more accused persons had been identified. The police were able to establish what the relationship of the main accused was to 93 (97%) of these 96 victims. The main accused was known to 88% of these 93 victims: 15% of victims were presumed to have been killed by a partner or ex-partner, 16% by a relative and 57% by an acquaintance.
In 2010-11, 12% of homicide victims were killed by a stranger where the relationship of the main accused to the victim was established.
Main motive for killing ( Table 8)
Where an accused person had been identified in 2010-11, the most common reason behind committing a homicide was a fight or a quarrel (29%), followed by rage or fury (20%). This distribution has remained relatively consistent over the 10 year period covered by this statistical release.
Chart 3: Alcohol and drug status of homicide accused, Scotland, 2010-11
Alcohol and drug status of accused persons ( Table 9 and Chart 3)
The alcohol and drug status was known for 97 (70%) of the 138 persons accused of homicide in 2010-11. Of these 97 accused, 79% were reported to have been drunk and/or on drugs at the time the homicide was committed (53% were drunk, 7% were on drugs and 20% were both drunk and on drugs). 21% of accused persons were reported not to have been under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.