The homicide drop in England and Wales 2004–2014

Caroline Miles, Emily Buehler

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After decades of rising homicide rates in the late 20th century, much of the Western world witnessed a decline in homicide from the early-mid-1990s. In England and Wales, homicide rates defied this trend and continued to rise for a further decade, peaking in 2004 before declining year on year until 2014. The late onset of the decline in England and Wales presents a quandary for dominant explanations of the broader decline, and has yet to be theorised. This article presents a disaggregated analysis of the homicide drop in England and Wales, identifying subtypes of homicide that appear to have driven the decline. The findings indicate changes in lifestyle, routine activities and social/criminal justice policy as the main drivers of the homicide drop, and contribute to international theory on homicide trends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174889582093076
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Early online date12 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • homicide decline
  • homicide drop
  • homicide trends


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