Homicide

Homicide statistics for England and Wales are given in the ONS Focus on Violent Crime 2015 Excel file. These data are plotted against year below, separately for male and female victims. More than twice as many men as women have been homicide victims up to 2013, apart from 2003 when killings by Harold Shipman resulted in a larger than usual number of female homicides (see graph). However, April 2013 – March 2015 has seen a reduction in the ratio of male to female homicides to just below 2. Homicide numbers have been trending downwards for roughly 13 years.

Number of Homicides in England & Wales versus Year

Homicides v YearHomicides by partners, or ex-partners, are also shown on the graph. One man is killed by a partner for every 3 or 4 women. In years 2013/14 and 2014/15 the numbers of women killed by their partners were 85 and 81 respectively, whilst the number of men killed by their partners was 25 and 19 respectively.

In 2014/15 the number of victims of familial homicide (perpetrated by either partners or other family members) were 64 males and 112 females – roughly one in three victims of familial homicides being male.

In 2014/15 the category of homicide with the largest number of victims was “male victims of ‘other known’ perpetrators” (107 cases). The second largest category was “male victims of strangers” (104 cases). The number of cases in these categories may be under-estimated due to the large number of unsolved homicides with no suspect. The third largest category was “female victims of partners/ex-partners” (81 cases).

If all cases where the perpetrator is known to the victim, whether friend, relative, partner or acquaintance, are added together, male victims numbered 171 and female victims 126 (in 2014/15). The victims of strangers numbered 104 males and 22 females. Thus, if a simple classification into “known” and “unknown” perpetrators is used, male victims predominate in both. The reader can come to his own view regarding the validity or otherwise of the focus that is given by certain lobbies to the partner homicide component.

The author is unclear as to whether the ONS data on homicides is complete due to the apparent obfuscation around Killing Children.

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