Murder and manslaughter

Murder, manslaughter, and assault with a lethal outcome are usually jointly designated lethal violence. In 2015, 112 cases of lethal violence were confirmed in Sweden. Lethal violence is declining over the long run.

Lethal violence

Confirmed cases of lethal violence, of which lethal violence against men or women¹, 2006 – 2015. (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 2015, 112 cases of lethal violence were confirmed² in Sweden. This can be seen from the statistic regarding confirmed cases of lethal violence. This is an increase by 25 cases, as compared with 2014. The number of victims in cases involving several incidents of lethal violence more than doubled during the year, from 10 to 22 victims, as compared to the previous year. The increase in these types of cases represents about half of the total rise during 2015. 

During the most recent ten-year period, the number of cases of lethal violence each year has fluctuated between 68 and 112 cases. In a long-term perspective, ever since the 1990's when Brå started the measurements, the trend shows that lethal violence is declining.

In 2015, the victim in 74 per cent of the cases was a man. The breakdown between the genders has been substantially similar since the 1990s.

A firearm was used in almost one-third (29%) of the observed cases of lethal violence in 2015; this is a somewhat lower percentage than in 2014 (32%).

Regional breakdown

The majority (71 %) of the confirmed cases of lethal violence in 2015 were reported in one of the major metropolitan regions of Stockholm, Väst and Skåne. This has been the trend since 2010. The largest increase was seen in the Väst region, where the number of cases more than doubled, from 14 cases in 2014 to 34 cases in 2015.   

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.