Injuries: assaults and homicides


The Scottish Government publication Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2012-13 presents statistics on crimes and offences recorded by the eight former Scottish police forces. Included in this publication is information on crimes of serious assault and minor assault offences. In order to distinguish between serious and minor assaults police forces use a common definition of what is a serious assault:

"An assault or attack in which the victim sustains injury resulting in detention in hospital as an inpatient, for the treatment of that injury, or any of the following injuries whether or not detained in hospital; fractures (the breaking or cracking of a bone) and internal injuries."

Some key statistics from Recorded Crime in Scotland are presented below:

  • The number of serious assaults (which includes crimes of murder and attempted murder) recorded decreased from 4,814 in 2011-12 to 3,734 in 2012-13. Minor assault offences increased steadily from 50,244 in 1997-98 to a peak of 78,167 in 2006-07 but then have tended to decrease, falling to 60,955 in 2012-13 (Chart 1 (view chart)).
  • More detailed information can be viewed in the website's Excel Tables, including data by council area on serious assault crimes and rates per 10,000 population (Table 8).


The Scottish Government publication, Homicide in Scotland, 2012-13 presents statistics on crimes of homicide recorded by the police in Scotland. The figures do not include figures for statutory homicide, that is of causing death by dangerous or reckless driving.

  • There were 62 victims of homicide recorded in 2012-13. This represented a rate of 12 victims per million population compared with 18 in 2011-12. There has been a general downward trend in reported homicides over the period since 2003-2004 (Chart 2 (view chart)). 
  • In 24 of the 61 solved homicides in 2012-13, the accused was drunk and in 22 cases the motive was a fight or quarrel.
  • In 2012-13, 39 of the 62 recorded homicide cases took place in the Strathclyde police force area (63 per cent of the total).
  • More detailed information can be viewed in the website's Excel Tables.


Please note: If you require the most up-to-date data available, please check the data sources directly as new data may have been published since these data pages were last updated. Although we endeavour to ensure that the data pages are kept up-to-date, there may be a time lag between new data being published and the relevant ScotPHO web pages being updated.