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Homicide

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were murdered in England in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. (176850)

The following table of data relates to the number of homicides recorded by the police in England between 2001-02 and 2005-06. The figure for 2002-03 includes 172 victims of Harold Shipman.

There was a reduction of 11 per cent. in the number of homicides between 2001-02 and 2005-06. The new Make Communities Safer public service agreement (PSA), effective from April 2008, includes a target to reduce the most serious violence. Many of the actions required to achieve this objective will have an impact on a range of violent and sexual offences, but there will be a particular focus on homicide.

The Government are developing a wide-ranging programme of work to deliver the new PSA target, and will set out a new framework for tackling violence, based on the identification and management of risk and supporting victims to reduce harm, soon.

Currently recorded homicides1 by police in England2: 2001-02 to 2005-063

Year4

Number of offences

2001-02

770

2002-03

917

2003-04

764

2004-05

753

2005-06

683

1 Homicide offences are shown according to the year in which police initially recorded the offence as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made.

2 As at 9 October 2006; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.

3 Does not include homicides recorded by British Transport Police.

4 Data for 2006-07 and revised data for the period 1996 to 2005-06 are scheduled to be released in late January 2008.