Scottish homicide rate falls to record low

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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THE number of homicide victims in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level since records began nearly 40 years ago, new figures show.

Details released by the Scottish Government show 59 people died as a result of murder or culpable homicide in 2014-15, the lowest figure since comparable data became available in 1976.

Fewer victims, fewer families who have lost a loved one and fewer communities affected by this most serious of crimes.

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham

Figures for Glasgow show the number of homicides in the city has more than halved in the past decade, falling by 56 per cent since 2005-6.

Justice secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is encouraging to see another fall in homicides in Scotland, now at their lowest level in 39 years. This continues the downward trajectory we have been seeing in recent years which is to be welcomed.”

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham added: “Since the advent of Police Scotland, every murder committed has been detected. We have developed a very high standard of investigating major crimes, including homicide.

“Our Major Investigation Team (MIT) structure means we have a strong team of experienced specialist investigators supporting local policing wherever and whenever such a crime occurs.”

According to the figures, 78 per cent of cases were carried out by an individual known to the victim.

In 56 per cent of cases, a sharp instrument was the main method used and over a third of those accused of homicide in 2014-15 were reported to have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time. Males accounted for 91 per cent of those accused of homicide.