UK

Homicide victims aged under 16 lowest on record - ONS

The number of under-16-year-olds who were killed or murdered in England and Wales has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1972.

In the year to March 2016, there were 38 homicide victims in that age group, compared with 56 the previous year.

The details are contained in an Office for National Statistics analysis of violent crime and sexual offences.

Overall, there were 571 homicides, a category that includes manslaughter, murder and infanticide - up 57 on 2015.

Homicides in numbers

England and Wales in year to March 2016

571

Victims of murder, manslaughter or infantacide

  • 38 Victims under 16 years old

  • 213 Deaths due to injuries from knife or sharp instrument

  • 69% Male victims

  • 44% Women victims of partner or ex-partner

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The figures show 69% of homicide victims were male, 31% female, with marked increases in male victims aged 25 to 34, and 75 and over.

The ONS said 44% of women were killed by their partner or ex-partner and 35% of male victims died at the hands of a friend or acquaintance. Nineteen per cent of female victims were strangled.

Of the 38 child victims, 22 were killed by a parent or step-parent, and four were known to have been killed by a stranger.

As in previous years, the most common method of killing was by knife or other sharp instrument with 213 victims. The second most common method was kicking or hitting.

Twenty-six people were shot dead.

Similar to previous years, about a half of all homicide cases resulted from a quarrel, a revenge attack or a loss of temper.

By last November, a suspect had been charged in 79% of cases.

The ONS said the incidence rate for homicide remained relatively low, with 9.9 homicides recorded per million of the population during the year ending March 2016.

This is higher than the rate for the last four years but still one of the lowest homicide rates since the late 1970s.

Among under-16s, there had been 44 homicide victims in the year ending March 2014.

Data on homicide victims by age of victim was first published 45 years ago.

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