Monitoring drug-related homicides: An assessment of existing data sources and potential for future monitoring
This project’s aim is to critically assess current homicide data sources in order to develop a proposal for long-term EU-level monitoring of DRH.
- Marieke Liem
- European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
Drug-related homicide (DRH) has the potential to act as a valuable indicator of wider drug-related crime. Yet DRH remains a knowledge gap within this broader field of study. This project’s aim is to critically assess current homicide data sources in order to develop a proposal for long-term EU-level monitoring of DRH.
To date, there are a number of data sources available on Member State level to monitor DRH. However, at present, there appears to be no overall, standardized EU-level data set available that systematically gathers information on the various types of DRH. These types include homicides in the context of psychopharmacological effects, economic-compulsive effects and systemic effects. The current absence of such a EU-level data source on DRH inhibits cross-national comparisons across European countries. Development of DRH data collection is therefore necessary in order to improve our understanding of the nature and consequences of wider drug-related crime. More specifically, there is a need to identify suitable national and international data sources and/or proxies, along with a reasonable measurement frequency.
Against this backdrop, this project aims to (1) estimate the extent of drug involvement in national homicides by country and by the above mentioned types of DRH, (2) assess and discuss the obstacles where a drug-homicide relationship cannot be readily established, (3) identify suitable proxy measures, and (4) identify the parameters of a sustainable system for EU-level monitoring of DRH. In this effort, a critical and systematic review of existing studies and data sources on the various types of drugs related homicides will be conducted. Output will include an overview of what we do and do not know about DRH, and – based on this overview – recommendations for properties for future measurement instruments focussed on DRH monitoring. As such, this project is a first step towards monitoring of DRH on the European level.
Given the above outlined importance to monitor DRH on the European level, this project aims to be a first step towards an European-level DRH monitoring system. In that vein, this report’s research objectives are:
1. To map existing data sources on homicide in European countries;
2. To estimate the extent of drug involvement in national homicides by European country;
3. To assess and discuss the obstacles where a drug-homicide relationship cannot be readily established;
4. To assess the practical implications for DRH monitoring on the European level. 5. To develop a proposal for establishing long-term EU-level monitoring of DRH, including an implementation plan.
Part 1: Research report
Illicit drugs continue to be a profitable area for criminal organizations operating within the EU. Drug use and drug markets can act as facilitators for all types of violence, which could ultimately lead to homicide. Yet, drug-related homicide (DRH) has not been monitored. The development of a drug-related homicide data collection is necessary to study this phenomenon. This report provides a first step towards a European-level DRH monitor.
Read the full report.
Part 2: A proposal for DRH monitoring
Following up on the findings of providing an overview of DRH data, this report outlines a proposal for long-term EU-level monitoring of DRH. The report recommends to explore the possibilities of including DHR variables into the already existing European Homicide Monitor framework.
Read the full report.