he number of women killed in England and Wales rose by a quarter in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic with a homicide every two days, official figures revealed on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics said that 198 women were killed, almost all by men, in the 12 months to the end of March last year.

That was 38 more than the 160 women killed in the previous year — a 24 per cent rise — and represents one of the highest figures in the past decade.

The ONS suggested that the figures — which also show rises in men falling victim to homicide and a record number of knife killings, including 51 teenagers — were partly the result of the end of Covid restrictions which had suppressed violence on the streets.

A third of the women died at the hands of a partner or former partner with 60 such killings out of the 198 total over the year. Another 13 per cent were killed by a family member.

For all the female homicide victims, 95 per cent of the suspects charged so far are male.

Sabina Nessa (Metropolitan Police/PA)

/ PA Media

The total number of women killed over the past decade, and covered by the ONS figures, is now 1,861, with victims losing their lives to violence at a rate of around one every two days.

Over the past 10 years, only the totals for 2018 and 2019, when the numbers of women were killed were 216 and 222 respectively, have been higher than today’s figure for 2022.

Other notable statistics in the new analysis include 282 knife killings. That represents a 19 per cent increase on the previous year and included 51 teenagers, many in London, to give the largest death toll from blades since records began in 1946.

The overall homicide total of 696 victims across England and Wales was also up, by 130, on the previous year.

There were 498 male victims and the statisticians pointed out that the homicide rate for men was more than double that for women.

Thursday’s figures also show that average homicide rates per million people were around four times higher for black victims than victims of other ethnicities.

The homicide rate for black people has also risen sharply over the past three years and by more than for the white population. Over a third of black victims were aged 16 to 24, compared with 13 per cent for white victims.

No victims are named in Thursday’s analysis but women who were killed in London during the period covered by the figures include Sabina Nessa, a 28-year-old primary school teacher.

She was murdered in a park in Kidbrooke in September 2021 as she walked to a bar after being picked out at random by killer Koci Selamaj.

He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 36 years for what the judge,

Mr Justice Sweeney, described as a “savage” sexually motivated attack.

Another London woman killed in the same year was Marlene Coleman, 53. She was stabbed to death by her controlling partner Franklin McLeod at her home in Lewisham in June 2021 after he discovered her plans to leave him.

McLeod, who was sentenced at the Old Bailey yesterday to life with a minimum of 20 years, was convicted after detectives went to Jamaica to secure witness evidence and located further witnesses in New York and Florida.

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