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Murder-Suicide (651A/20)

Request

I would like to request the following information on murder-suicide. For the purposes of this request, I am defining murder-suicide as ‘murder followed by the suicide of the perpetrator(s) within one week’.

I would like to request the following information for the years 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2018 inclusive:

  1. In total (for all ages), how many murder-suicide incidents were recorded in your force between 1st January 2015 and 31st December 2018? Please provide a breakdown by year (e.g. 10 in 2015, 20 in 2016, 30 in 2015, total = 60)
  2. How many of these murder-suicides (number not percentage please) involved a victim who was aged 60 or over? Please provide a breakdown by year (e.g. 10 in 2015, 20 in 2016, 30 in 2015, total = 60)
  3. How many murders involving a victim aged 60 or over were recorded during the same period (number not % please) Please provide a breakdown by year (e.g. 10 in 2015, 20 in 2016, 30 in 2015, total = 60). Please note – this question is designed to allow me to ascertain how many murders of older people are murder-suicide cases.
  4. For each of the recorded murder-suicide cases involving an older victim (60 or over) (as per question 2, above), please provide the victim, offender and crime details on an individual case basis as per the attached table – if possible please complete a table for each recorded offence or provide the same information in a different format if preferred but please provide this on an individual basis – please do not aggregate the information).

This request has been carefully designed to ensure the data requested is anonymous (e.g. using age categories rather than asking for specific ages, not requesting any personal data on victims or suspects such as names, addresses, date of birth and so on). I am seeking information on closed cases only.

Please note, I have previously made requests for details on other offences, including sexual offences and, relatedly, murder/manslaughter asking for almost identical information and the Information Commissioner upheld my appeal for this information on the basis that this did not engage section 30, section 38 or section 40. For further detail please see here: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2017/2014260/fs50663201.pdf.

CLARIFICATION

Further to this request I am emailing to provide clarification on the terminology used. The term perpetrator has been used to describe suspects – I would be grateful if you could proceed with this request for data on murder followed by suicides within a week and provide the requested victim and suspect characteristics.

Response

Please find attached our response.

Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of incidents/crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

Attachments

651A_ATTACHMENT_01 651A_ATTACHMENT_02