HAMPSHIRE police recorded 14 homicides in the 12 months to the end of March 2017, new figures reveal.

The statistics, which show a rise of seven on the previous 12 months, show the area covered by the force had a homicide rate of 7.1million people - below the average for England and Wales.

The Home Office homocide figures cover murder and manslaughter, and record the offence at the time it was recorded - not when it was known to have happened.

It comes just weeks after a 16-year-old boy was charged with murder following the death of a six week old baby in Defender Road, Southampton.

In September Kirpal Sanghera was left for dead in the middle of Radcliffe Road, Southampton, following a knife attack.

The figures come from a Home Office database called the Homicide Index.

Analysis by the Office for National Statistics shows that 71% of victims were men and 29% women - and they say it is a consistent pattern over many years.

Half of the female victims were killed by a partner or ex-partner. Men are most likely to be killed by a friend or acquaintance.

Child victims, under the age of 16, were most likely to be killed by a parent or step parent and most people are killed while in or around a house, according to the ONS.

This is particularly true for women, while one fifth of male homicides happen on the street.

The most common weapon used was a knife or sharp object.

In total, all the police forces in England and Wales recorded 709 homicides and includes the 96 deaths of football fans at Hillsborough in 1989, as a result of the inquest verdicts in April 2016.

Excluding the Hillsborough deaths, the number of homicides in England and Wales was up by 8% on the previous 12 months.

The rate has increased over the latest two periods but is still 20% lower than it was 10 years ago. However, in 1967 the rate was 7.3 per million.