UK News

Number of female homicide victims reaches highest level since 2006

Mary Annie Sowerby, Aliny Godinho, Elize Stevens, Alison Hunt, Asma Begum and Dorothy Bowyer
Image caption Mary Annie Sowerby, Aliny Godinho, Elize Stevens, Alison Hunt, Asma Begum and Dorothy Bowyer were among the female homicide victims last year

The number of female homicide victims in England and Wales has risen to the highest level since 2006.

There were 241 female victims of murder, manslaughter and infanticide in the 12 months to the end of March 2019, up 10% on the previous year.

The number of separate homicide incidents rose to 662, up from 644 the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the overall number of victims fell to 671.

This was 33, or 5%, fewer than the previous year.

It represents the first fall since 2015, although this was partly due to those killed in the London and Manchester terror attacks and the Shoreham air crash being included in the 2018 figures.

The ONS said the year-on-year decline was driven by a fall in male victims – down 11%, from 484 to 429.

Just under two-thirds (64%) were male victims and over a third (36%) were female.

Almost half (48%) of female victims were killed in a domestic homicide, with the suspect a partner or ex-partner in 38% of cases.

The number of baby girls and toddlers killed in the period also reached a decade high, with homicide victims including 14 females under the age of one and 13 toddlers aged between one and four.

These are the highest numbers since the earliest available figures, when six female babies and eight children aged between one and four were killed in the year to March 2009.

The most common method of killing in both male and female cases continued to be stabbing, with 259 homicides committed with a sharp instrument – down 8%, with a fall of 23 offences, on the previous year.

End Violence Against Women Coalition director Sarah Green said the rise in domestic violence murders was “extremely worrying”.

“We need an urgent, detailed examination of every case and what failings they have in common,” she said.

Alex Mayes, external affairs manager at charity Victim Support, said: “It is deeply disturbing to see that more women are being killed, in part, due to a rise in homicides as a result of domestic abuse.”

He said the impact of these crimes was “devastating” and the figures showed how much more needed to be done to tackle abuse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *