Scotland

Homicide numbers in Scotland show slight rise

man with knife Image copyright Getty Images

There was a slight rise in the number of killings across Scotland last year, with 61 people losing their lives.

The latest official figures reveal homicides were at the third-lowest level since 1976.

The number of people killed has remained relatively stable recently, rising from 59 to 61 last year.

The Scottish government said it was "working to ensure that victims' interests are at the heart of our criminal justice system".

Overall, 44% of homicides involved a sharp instrument like knives, broken bottles, swords and screwdrivers.

The vast majority of victims were men who were killed by someone they knew.

Homicides in Scotland

Source: Scottish government

The highest number of homicides in the past 40 years was in 1988-89 when the figure of 355 included the 270 killed in the Lockerbie bombing.

The lowest number of victims were in 2015-16 and 2017-18.

Among women, 60% lost their lives at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.

A total of 83 people were accused of homicide and 88% (73) of them were male.

Of the 60 cases of homicide recorded for 2018-19, the figures show 57 were solved and three remain unsolved.

Over the 10-year period from 2009-10 to 2018-19, the number of homicide cases in Scotland fell by 25% (20 cases) from 80 to 60.

Prevention work

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the government was investing £18m a year in victim support services to help tackle the trauma experienced by those left behind.

He said: "While the number of homicides in Scotland is significantly lower than a decade ago - in line with the overall fall in crime - any death is one too many.

"We are determined to help people break free from cycles of violence.

"We will continue our efforts to drive down violent crime - both through supporting prevention work with people of all ages and ensuring Scotland's law enforcement agencies and courts have the resources to deal with those who harm others."

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