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Murder Statistics

Murder – What do the figures show?

Homicide is the killing of one person by another. It accounts for a very small proportion of deaths each year in England and Wales; for the most recent five years of mortality data, from 2017 to 2021, murder accounted for one in every 800 deaths.

Historical data on recorded homicides in England and Wales is published by the Office for National Statistics. Since records began in 1898, the number of murders recorded has increased from around 300 a year, to over 500 a year since the 1970s. The number of offences peaked in 2003 but has since fallen. 

Characteristics of the victims of homicide

The characteristics of the victims of homicide can vary greatly from year to year, as the overall numbers of offences is relatively low. However, there are some key patterns from the data:

  • The majority of murder victims in England and Wales are male. In the year ending March 2022, 72% of victims were male and 28% were female.
  • Female victims of homicide have most commonly been killed by a partner or ex-partner, accounting for 59% of victims in the last decade where the relationship could be determined.
  • Male victims of homicide have most commonly been killed by a friend or acquaintance (40% of victims where the relationship was determined).
  • In the year ending March 2022, the rate of homicide was highest for Black and Black British victims and lowest for those of Mixed or multiple ethnicities.

Method of killing

In the year ending March 2022, 41% of homicides involved a sharp instrument. This was the most common method of killing, followed by hitting or kicking (without the use of a weapon).  

Sentencing and convictions

As of May 2023, charges had been made in almost two thirds (63%) of homicide cases recorded in 2021/22. Just under a quarter (24%) of cases had not been assigned an outcome.

In the most recent year, the year to March 2022, 414 people were indicted for homicide and 318 were convicted.

If you are accused of murder or manslaughter you should seek legal advice immediately.

It is vital that you receive the best advice possible and provide as much detail of the facts of your case as you can to ensure the right result for you.

MK Law is on hand to help you through all stages of the process.

For more information on the law or consequences of Murder and Manslaughter, or to discuss your case please fill out the form or call us on 020 8692 2694