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01/10/13 09:14

Homicide in Scotland 2012-13

An official statistics publication for Scotland.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Homicide in Scotland, 2012-13. The publication provides information on crimes of homicide as recorded by the police in Scotland in 2012-13. The Main findings are:

  • In 2012-13, there were 62 homicide cases recorded by the police in Scotland, a decrease of 32 per cent compared to 2011-12.

  • The 62 homicide cases recorded in 2012-13 involved 62 victims, a decrease of 33 per cent compared to the 93 victims that were recorded in 2011-12. This represented a rate of 12 victims per million population in Scotland in 2012-13, compared with 18 in 2011-12.

  • In 2012-13, 76 per cent of all homicide cases occurred within a residential location, 19 per cent of cases occurred in public places outdoors and 5 per cent of cases occurred in public places indoors.

  • There were 50 male homicide victims in 2012-13, 81 per cent of the total number of victims recorded. The rate of male homicide victims (19 per million population) was nearly five times the rate for female homicide victims (four per million population).

  • For 61 of the 62 homicide cases recorded in 2012-13, one or more accused persons had been identified. A total of 83 accused persons were identified. The majority (80 per cent) of accused persons were male, with over a third (35 per cent) of all accused being males aged between 21 and 30 years.

  • The most common method of killing in the ten year period covered by this statistical bulletin was with a sharp instrument. In 2012-13, 26 homicide victims were killed by a sharp instrument, accounting for 42 per cent of all homicide victims recorded.

  • For the 61 victims in solved homicide cases, the relationship of the main accused to the victim was as follows: 56 per cent acquaintance, 15 per cent partner or ex-partner and seven per cent relative. The police were unable to establish the relationship of the main accused to seven (11 per cent) of these 61 victims.

  • The alcohol and drug status was known for 51 (61 per cent) of the 83 persons accused of homicide in 2012-13. Of these 51 accused, 71 per cent were reported to have been drunk and/or on drugs at the time the homicide was committed (59 per cent were drunk, eight per cent were on drugs and four per cent were both drunk and on drugs). Of these 51 accused, 15 were reported not to have been under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

  • Strathclyde police force area, which contained 42 per cent of the estimated population of Scotland in 2012, accounted for 63 per cent (39) of all homicide cases recorded in 2012-13, increasing from 57 per cent (52) of all cases in 2011-12.


  1. The full statistical publication can be accessed at:

  1. The term “sharp instrument” includes knives, broken bottles, swords, sharpened screwdrivers and any other pointed or edged weapons.

  1. The statistics set out in the statistical bulletin are for the year immediately preceding the establishment of the Police Service of Scotland. Information on Police Reform and the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, as well as the Police Service of Scotland, is available via the following links.

Police Reform:

Police Service of Scotland:

  1. Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

  1. National statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of National statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:

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