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Murder and manslaughter

Murder, manslaughter, and assault with a lethal outcome are usually jointly designated lethal violence. Lethal violence is declining over the long run.

Lethal violence

Confirmed cases of lethal violence, of which lethal violence against men or women¹, 2005 – 2014. (Reported cases of lethal violence where lethal violence is highly likely to be the cause of death). Source: Confirmed cases of lethal violence (Brå)

1.) Gender breakdown is reported for the confirmed cases of lethal violence since 2011. In one of the cases in 2012, the victim's gender could not be established.

In 2014, 87 cases of lethal violence were confirmed² in Sweden. This can be seen from the statistic regarding confirmed cases of lethal violence. This is the same number as in 2013. During the most recent ten-year period, the number of cases of lethal violence each year has fluctuated between 68 and 111 cases. In a long-term perspective, the trend shows that lethal violence is declining.

In 2014, the victim in 71 per cent of the cases was a man and in 29 per cent of the cases, the victim was a woman. The breakdown between the genders has been substantially similar since the 1990s.

A firearm was used in almost one-third (32%) of the observed cases of lethal violence in 2014; this is a somewhat higher percentage than in 2013 (30%).

Regional breakdown

The majority of the confirmed cases of lethal violence in 2014 were reported in one of the major metropolitan counties of Stockholm, Västra Götaland and Skåne. Together, these comprise 63 per cent of the confirmed cases, which entails a reduction by 3 percentage points as compared with 2013. In terms of percentage of the overall population, these counties were overrepresented.

2) The figures above come from Brå's special study of lethal violence which only includes reported cases of lethal violence where lethal violence is highly likely to be the cause of death. This is because the statistic regarding reported offences is misleading where lethal violence is concerned, since it shows all reported incidents with a lethal outcome where there initially was reason to investigate whether lethal violence may have been used. Following investigation, many of these incidents are seen to involve something other than lethal violence, for example suicide, accident, or natural death. It also occurs that several police reports are prepared for a single case of suspected lethal violence, which means that the statistic contains repeats. Moreover, attempts, preparation, and conspiracy to commit murder or manslaughter are erroneously registered as completed murder or manslaughter.

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