Towards a European Homicide Monitor

15 November, 2010
Homicide is an important indicator for measuring trends and comparing levels of violent crime between countries.
Homicide is an important indicator for measuring trends and comparing levels of violent crime between countries. However, within the European Union member states there is at present very little systematic cross-national knowledge on lethal violence, because the existing national data are not directly comparable.
For a number of years now, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have all been compiling their own national homicide data. In order to facilitate comparisons of lethal violence within the EU, the three countries have received EU funding to initiate the work of compiling an all-European homicide database termed the European Homicide Monitor.

Cross-national database facilitates research

The aim of the project is to create a database containing data on all homicides committed in Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands in the years 2003-2006. This database will make it possible to conduct research on similarities and differences in both the rate and structure of homicides, and also on homicide trends, across all three countries. The database will also make it possible to answer questions relating to amongst other things modus operandi, the proportion of different homicide categories, the average length of homicide sentences and much more besides. Within the framework of the project, an initial descriptive analysis will be conducted, based on the compiled data.

The project members hope that other European Union member states will also develop an interest in the European Homicide Monitor. The ultimate goal is that additional countries will join the database in the future.

About the project

The project has been funded by the European Community´s Seventh Framework Programme ISEC Prevention of and fight against crime fund under grant agreement no. JLS/2007/ISEC/434. It is a collaboration between the National Research Institute of Legal policy (NRILP) in Finland, the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Law of Leiden University in the Netherlands and the National Council for Crime Prevention in Sweden (lead partner). The project spans over three years and is due to end in December of year 2011.
With financial support from the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union European Commission - Directorate-General Home Affairs.