Homicides in Scotland remain at second lowest level in 40 years

Written by Jenni Davidson on 10 October 2017 in News

Homicides in Scotland rose slightly last year, but were still near their lowest level since 1976

Boy with knife - Image credit: PA Images

Homicides in Scotland rose slightly last year, but remained at their second lowest level for 40 years.

In 2016-17 there were 61 crimes of homicide recorded, up three from 58 the year before, according to official statistics released today.

This is the joint second lowest number of recorded cases for a twelve month period since 1976, the first year for which comparable data is available.


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Over the ten year period from 2007-08 to 2016-17, the number of homicide cases in Scotland fell by 47 per cent from 115 to 61.

Over the last ten years the most common weapon used has been a sharp instrument such as a knife, broken bottle, sharpened screwdriver or sword, with sharp implements being used in nearly half of the cases in 2016/17.

The majority of perpetrators were male, as were the majority of victims.

Commenting on the statistics, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “While we have seen large reductions in homicides over the past 10 years, every death represents a tragic loss of life, leaving friends and families grieving.

“That is why we will maintain our efforts across justice and public services, through education and enforcement, to continue driving down violence in our communities.

“We continue to ensure our law enforcement agencies and courts have the resources to deal with those who harm others, while supporting prevention work with young people and projects that help people break free from cycles of violence.”

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