Reducing homicide: A review of the possibilities

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    This paper explores the potential for reducing homicide, with a particular focus on the United Kingdom. It draws upon data from the Homicide Index, international research on homicide, and the general crime reduction literature. Homicide is highly diverse in its characteristics, causes and dynamics, so effective strategies to reduce it are likely to require tailoring to specific forms. The paper focuses upon four important categories: domestic (partner) homicide; the killing of infants; alcohol-related homicide; and homicide involving guns and knives. Attention is also paid briefly to issues around ‘dangerous’ offenders and mental disorder, and to homicide victimisation in relation to specific occupations.

    This paper was written in 2001 and accepted for publication by Crime Law and Social Change in 2002. Some minor updating has been undertaken by the authors, but due to the delay some sections will inevitably not refer to the most recent research. An earlier version of the paper was published online by the Home Office in 2003.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)325-403
    JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
    Issue number4-5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


    • homicide
    • killing
    • murder
    • domestic (partner) homicide
    • killing of infants
    • alcohol-related homicide
    • homicide involving guns and knives


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