Rise in number of homicide cases recorded by police

Cases rose from 62 to 64 between 2018 and 2019, though the figures remain among the lowest since the 1970s.

Rise in number of homicide cases recorded by police Police Scotland

The number of homicide cases recorded by police in Scotland rose slightly in 2019 from the previous year, the latest figures show.

Cases rose from 62 to 64 between 2018 and 2019, though the figures remain among the lowest since the 1970s.

A Scottish Government report released on Tuesday set out statistics on homicide cases recorded by police, which include crimes of murder and culpable homicide, and can have multiple perpetrators or victims.

Homicide cases have fallen by about a third since 2010 and have remained relatively stable with between 59 and 64 each year since 2012.

Of the 2019 figures, 45 of the 64 victims were men and 19 were women.

Just over a third of the female victims were killed by a current or former partner while 43% of the male victims were killed by someone they knew.

More than half of all victims were killed with a sharp instrument, most commonly a knife.

Of the 76 accused connected to the homicides, 70 were men and six were women.

More than half of the accused were said to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crime while 49% of victims were said to have been killed in drug-related cases.

The report noted that Glasgow had a disproportionately large number of homicides despite the significant fall in recent years.

It said: “In 2019-20, Glasgow city had the highest number of homicide cases, representing 19% of the Scottish total.

“Glasgow city has a higher share of homicides compared to its population (with 12% of the Scottish population in 2019).

“It is important to note, however, that victims may not necessarily reside in the local authority where the homicide took place.

“Glasgow city has also witnessed a relatively larger fall in homicides of 54% since 2010-11, accounting for over two-fifths (41%) of the overall national decrease.”

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: “While the number of homicides continue to be significantly lower than they were a decade ago, any death is one too many and behind each of these figures are victims and grieving families and friends.

“We are committed to providing the best possible support to victims of crime and we have provided more than £1.2m funding to Victim Support Scotland to establish a service giving dedicated and continuous support to families bereaved by crime, which has been operational since April 2018.

“Alongside enforcement and prosecution, Scotland has adopted a public health approach to tackling violent crime, focusing on early intervention and collaborative prevention work, and there has been a significant and long-term reduction in violent crime, with a 48% fall in violent incidents experienced by adults in the last decade.

“We have also invested £20m over the last decade in violence reduction programmes, including £14m to support the work of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit and more than £4m for No Knives, Better Lives.”