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Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many deaths have been caused by firearms within the Greater London area in each of the last five years; [117154](2) how many crimes involving firearms have occurred in each of the last five years in the London borough of Wandsworth. [117156]

The number of homicides involving firearms in the London region in the last five years are given in the table.

Number of firearm homicides
1 Figures are on a calendar year basis for 1997, and thereafter on

a financial year basis (12 months to Match).
2 Figures recorded on the new boundary basis, as the

Metropolitan Police ceded some areas to Essex, Hertfordshire and

Surrey on 1 April 2000.
Numbers of other firearm deaths are not collected by the Home Office.Numbers of firearm offences by London borough are not collected centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of the number of i legal firearms in circulation in the Greater London area. [117155]

The fact that firearms are being held illegally means it is difficult to assess accurately the numbers in circulation. However, steps are being taken to provide a clearer picture.The National Criminal Intelligence Service has expanded its firearms section and has a key role in pulling together, acting on and sharing good quality intelligence, particularly on the supply and movement of firearms.The setting up of the National Firearms Forensic Intelligence Database, supported by £1.4 million from the Home Office, will facilitate the linking of firearms offences through th; automatic correlation of ballistics tests. This will con tribute to a strategic overview of national firearms trends which will be available to all forces. Data is already being recorded on the information database in respect of cases submitted to the Forensic Science Service after 1 April 2003.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answers of 14 May 2003, Official Report, column 216W, on gun crime, how many weapons, and of what type, have been handed in (a) in total and (b) to each United Kingdom police force as part of the national gun amnesty. [117584]

Final figures for the amnesty will be made available soon. We are still waiting for confirmation of totals, together with detailed breakdowns of what was handed in, from a small number of police forces.