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Crime: Homicide Figures

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 20 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will explain the difference between Home Office figures for homicide by shooting for the year ending 2005 as provided in the Written Answer by the Under-Secretary of State for Police and Security (HC Deb, col. 660W) and that provided by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on4 July (Official Report, col. 209) [HL6831]

The information provided by the Under-Secretary of State for Police and Security (Hansard 29 June 2006, col. 660W) was based on homicide index published figures and showed the apparent method of killing by year of recording, for calendar years 1990 to 1997 and financial years 1997-98 to 2004-05. Figures for shooting include cases where crossbows are used and excludes cases where firearms are used as a blunt instrument.

My reference to a 30 per cent reduction in the number of deaths resulting from the use of firearms, made during the Police and Justice Bill Committee debate on 4 July, related to provisional statistics for the year ending December 2005, published in the latest Home Office Crime in England and Wales quarterly update (Home Office Statistical Bulletin 06/06). On page seven of that document, it indicates that there were 73 offences involving firearms fired or used as a blunt instrument resulting in death between January and December 2004 compared to 51 between January and December 2005.This equates to a 30 per cent reduction.