Homicide in Scotland, 2021-22

From: Scottish Government
Published: Tue Oct 25 2022

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Homicide in Scotland, 2021-22. The publication provides information on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland in 2021-22. The main findings are:

In 2021-22, 53 victims of homicide were recorded, 10% (or six victims) fewer than the 59 victims recorded in 2020-21. This is the lowest number of recorded homicide victims since comparable records began in 1976.

Over the 10 year period from 2012-13 to 2021-22, the number of homicide victims in Scotland fell by 16% (or ten victims) from 63 to 53. That decrease was primarily based on the fall in 2021-22, with the number of victims over 2012-13 to 2020-21 remaining relatively stable (at between 59 and 66 victims recorded each year).

Of the 53 victims recorded in 2021-22, 70% (37) were male and 30% (16) were female.

In 2021-22, 63 persons were accused of homicide, of which 97% (61) were male. For all of the 53 homicide victims recorded in 2021-22, the associated case was solved.

For each of the last 10 years, the most common method of killing was with a sharp instrument. In 2021-22, a sharp instrument was the main method of killing for 47% (25) of homicide victims.

In 2021-22, of the 36 male victims where the relationship to the accused was known, 61% (22 victims) were killed by an acquaintance. Over half (56% or 9 victims) of the 16 female victims were killed by a partner or ex-partner.

Whilst most recorded cases of homicide in these statistics have one victim and one accused, some cases can have multiple victims and (or) accused. There were 52 homicide cases recorded in 2021-22, 7% (or 4 cases) fewer than the 56 recorded in 2020-21.


  1. The full statistical publication can be accessed at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/homicide-scotland-2021-22/
  2. The term sharp instrument includes knives, broken bottles, swords, sharpened screwdrivers and any other pointed or edged weapons.
  3. Further information on Crime and Justice statistics within Scotland can be accessed at: https://www.gov.scot/collections/crime-and-justice-statistics/
  4. National statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. More information on the standards of National statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/about-our-statistics/

Company: Scottish Government

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