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Violent Deaths

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been killed in England and Wales in each year since 1990 by the use of (a) a knife, (b) a gun and (c) another weapon. (78337)

The available information relates to offences currently recorded as homicide that were caused by (a) a sharp instrument, which includes other sharp instruments as well as knives, (b) shooting, which includes crossbows as well as guns, and (c) all other methods.

Data on apparent method of killing are released annually in a Supplementary Volume to the ‘Crime in England and Wales’ publication. Information for the period 1990 to 2004-05 are given in the following tables.

Offences currently1 recorded as homicide by apparent method of killing and sex of victim: England and Wales, 1990 to 2004-052

Number

Apparent method

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

Sharp instrument

178

217

218

182

231

243

197

200

Blunt instrument

74

62

50

66

55

78

68

71

Hitting, kicking, etc.

94

116

117

97

94

106

81

99

Strangulation3

81

94

79

89

104

83

77

64

Shooting4

59

50

52

71

63

66

47

58

Explosion

2

1

4

3

1

2

1

Burning

28

33

21

14

39

33

24

29

Drowning5

4

8

14

6

13

3

9

7

Poison or drugs6

9

19

11

9

17

16

28

17

Motor vehicle7

12

13

9

9

5

6

2

12

Other

7

8

4

14

4

19

44

37

Not known

7

2

2

5

7

9

6

14

Total

555

623

581

565

632

663

585

609

Number

Apparent method

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

Sharp instrument

202

201

212

214

261

266

234

236

Blunt instrument

68

65

70

76

60

47

68

61

Hitting, kicking, etc.

103

89

94

102

146

147

133

124

Strangulation3

61

78

56

148

77

64

67

60

Shooting4

52

46

61

72

97

75

69

77

Explosion

1

2

4

1

4

2

Burning

28

32

13

18

29

22

30

34

Drowning5

6

6

6

9

12

6

24

14

Poison or drugs6

17

47

53

32

33

201

22

30

Motor vehicle7

13

14

11

18

20

21

22

20

Other

38

43

41

68

37

51

47

45

Not known

19

23

53

14

31

49

77

117

Total

608

646

674

771

804

953

793

820

1 As at 28 November 2005; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.

2 Data taken from Home Office publications: 1994 to 2004-05 from HOSB 02/06; 1993 from HOSB 02/05; 1992 from HOSB 01/04; 1991 from HOSB 01/03; 1990 from CM 5312.

3 Including asphyxiation. Year 2000-01 includes 58 Chinese nationals who collectively suffocated in a lorry en route into the UK.

4 These figures may not agree with those in the firearms chapter because (a) figures include cases where the firearm was used as a blunt instrument and (b) homicide figures include shooting by crossbows and are compiled at a later date and take into account the results of police and court decisions.

5 Year 2003-04 includes 20 cockle pickers who drowned in Morecambe Bay.

6 Year 2002-03 includes 172 victims of Dr. Harold Shipman.

7 Excluding death by careless/dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking.