Sussex Police records show fall in murder and manslaughter

Police are appealing for witnesses
Police are appealing for witnesses

Sussex Police recorded 12 murders and manslaughters in the 12 months to the end of March 2017, down by one compared to the previous 12 months, according to Home Office figures.

In total, all the police forces in England and Wales recorded 709 homicides, which covers both murder and manslaughter.

The figure includes the 96 deaths of football fans at Hillsborough in 1989, as a result of the inquest verdicts in April 2016. The Home Office counts an offence at the time it was recorded and not when it was known to have been committed.

Excluding the Hillsborough deaths, the number of homicides in England and Wales was up by 8% on the previous 12 months.

The area covered by Sussex force had a homicide rate of 7.1 per million people, which is below the average for England and Wales.

The rate for South Yorkshire Police was far higher than any other area in this period due to the Hillsborough deaths. After South Yorkshire, the highest rate was 19.1 per million people in Greater Manchester. The lowest was 3.4 per million in Gwent.

The average rate for England and Wales if the Hillsborough deaths are excluded is 10.5 per million people. The rate has increased over the latest two periods but is still 20% lower than it was 10 years ago. However, in 1967 the rate was 7.3 per million.

The figures come from a Home Office database called the Homicide Index. Analysis of the latest figures by the Office for National Statistics shows that 71% of victims were men and 29% women. This is a consistent pattern over many years.

Half of the female victims were killed by a partner or ex-partner. Men are most likely to be killed by a friend or acquaintance.

Child victims, under the age of 16, were most likely to be killed by a parent or step parent.

Most people are killed while in or around a house, according to the ONS. This is particularly true for women, while one fifth of male homicides happen on the street.

The most common weapon used was a knife or sharp object.

Https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/appendixtableshomicideinenglandandwales

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