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Firearms: Theft

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) shotguns, (b) rifles and (c) handguns were stolen in (i) England and Wales and (ii) each police force area in each year since 1997; and how many were subsequently (1) recovered and (2) returned to the owner. (219103)

Data on ‘misappropriated’ firearms (i.e. stolen, obtained by fraud or forgery etc., or handled dishonestly) for England and Wales are given from 1997 to 2006-07. Breakdowns of these weapons by police force area are not available centrally for years up to and including 2002-03; therefore force data levels are given only from 2003-04 to 2006-07.

Information on whether or not stolen firearms are subsequently recovered and returned to the owner is not collected centrally.

Table A: Firearms misappropriated1 in crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales, 1997 to 2002-03

Weapon type

1997

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

Shotguns

539

524

395

447

431

423

462

Rifles

193

155

179

200

172

139

129

Handguns

305

270

242

219

167

79

85

Table B: Firearms misappropriated1 in crimes recorded by the police, England and Wales, by police force area, 2003-04 to 2006-07

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Force

Shotguns

Rifles

Handguns

Shotguns

Rifles

Handguns

Shotguns

Rifles

Handguns

Shotguns

Rifles

Handguns

Avon and Somerset

31

4

1

11

7

0

11

1

0

2

4

6

Bedfordshire

0

2

1

6

12

19

1

2

0

2

1

0

Cambridgeshire

9

4

2

8

0

0

7

3

0

7

9

4

Cheshire

8

1

0

13

3

1

2

1

0

6

3

3

Cleveland

2

0

0

0

1

0

6

3

3

1

2

0

Cumbria

4

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

0

1

1

0

Derbyshire

4

0

2

35

1

0

7

1

1

7

11

4

Devon and Cornwall

4

4

0

30

7

2

11

1

11

7

8

29

Dorset

9

11

0

4

1

0

1

0

0

2

3

0

Durham

5

3

1

15

3

0

2

1

3

1

0

0

Essex

11

0

0

7

0

0

7

3

3

9

2

2

Gloucestershire

3

2

2

4

2

0

6

0

0

0

0

1

Gtr. Manchester

7

0

13

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

Hampshire

10

0

8

8

1

1

22

12

4

8

2

3

Hertfordshire

5

0

2

7

1

1

6

8

2

2

6

1

Humberside

19

23

0

4

12

1

3

5

4

11

20

6

Kent

16

11

3

23

1

6

2

23

0

16

9

2

Lancashire

8

1

2

7

4

1

14

2

1

2

1

3

Leicestershire

12

2

0

11

0

5

1

1

27

7

0

0

Lincolnshire

12

2

0

10

1

0

8

1

2

19

2

0

City of London

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Merseyside

0

1

1

0

0

1

4

0

0

1

3

4

Metropolitan

10

11

8

11

0

2

15

11

12

19

22

9

Norfolk

23

0

0

12

5

0

6

4

1

10

2

0

Northamptonshire

21

0

8

24

0

1

11

0

0

6

1

0

Northumbria

2

2

1

0

1

2

7

6

1

14

10

1

North Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

9

1

1

Nottinghamshire

13

1

1

10

3

18

2

1

7

1

5

3

South Yorkshire

4

0

0

7

0

0

12

4

2

6

0

5

Staffordshire

9

3

2

12

6

0

3

3

5

5

25

4

Suffolk

15

2

0

6

1

0

4

0

0

8

5

3

Surrey

6

2

0

6

3

0

9

0

0

8

7

0

Sussex

5

2

7

17

5

4

7

0

0

8

15

2

Thames Valley

49

16

12

40

18

7

10

7

6

19

7

2

Warwickshire

18

0

0

10

3

2

9

7

0

12

6

1

West Mercia

11

12

10

15

15

0

4

24

11

13

11

1

West Midlands

11

2

1

9

12

1

8

2

1

5

2

0

West Yorkshire

6

1

0

7

2

3

9

2

0

15

3

0

Wiltshire

2

2

1

6

2

0

3

1

0

1

0

1

Dyfed Powys

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

Gwent

2

1

2

4

0

3

0

0

2

7

0

0

North Wales

8

0

5

0

6

0

1

7

0

4

0

0

South Wales

0

1

0

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

397

130

96

403

140

81

243

147

110

282

210

103

1 Misappropriated is defined as stolen, obtained by fraud or forgery etc., or handled dishonestly.