Chilling truth about the number of killings in Lancashire

Lancashire Police recorded 32 killings involving a victim aged 16 years or over between April 2014 and March 2017
Lancashire Police recorded 32 killings involving a victim aged 16 years or over between April 2014 and March 2017

More than one in four murder and manslaughter victims in Lancashire are killed by domestic violence.

New Home Office figures have revealed the extent of domestic homicides across England and Wales which show Lancashire Police recorded 32 killings involving a victim aged 16 years or over in the three year period between April 2014 and March 2017.

Of these, nine were domestic homicides, 20 were non-domestic, and three were homicides in which no suspect was identified. Four of the domestic killing victims were men, compared to five women.

Across England and Wales, however, women accounted for 73 per cent of the victims of domestic homicides. Homicide cases include both murder and manslaughter, while domestic homicides are those in which the victim was a romantic partner or family member of the suspect.

Crime charity Victim Support said that knowing the nature of the relationship between the suspect and victim made domestic homicides particularly difficult for bereaved people to cope with.

Diana Fawcett, chief officer at Victim Support, said: "The effect of homicide on family and friends of the victim is profound and long lasting. As well as coping with loss and the emotional, psychological, financial and physical impacts of this crime, the knowledge that it was caused by someone close to the victim, can be particularly distressing.”

There were 1,542 homicides in England and Wales over the same three year period - 400 of which were domestic killings. This means that victims of domestic killings accounted for 26 per cent of all murders and manslaughters. For just the killings where a suspect was identified, they made up almost a third of victims.

Women were more than six times more likely to be killed by a male partner than men were to be killed by a female partner. Of the 293 female domestic homicide victims, more than 80 per cent were killed by a current or former partner, and all but one by a male partner.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of domestic violence charity Refuge, said violence against women and girls was "the biggest threat" facing women in the UK.

She said: "Domestic violence is a matter of life and death and an overwhelmingly gendered offence. One in four women will be affected by domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime. Two women are killed by their current or former partner every week."