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Firearms: Crime

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many instances of crimes involving a gun have been reported to (a) Essex and (b) Southend police in each year since 1997; and how many such reports led to a (i) prosecution and (ii) conviction. (320649)

Available information relates to offences recorded by the police in Essex in which firearms were reported to have been used from 1997 to 2008-09 and are given in tables (A) and (B). This information is not collected centrally for Southend.

Firearms are taken to be involved in a crime if they are fired, used as a blunt instrument or used as a threat against a person.

Information on prosecutions and convictions is not available centrally as specific circumstances of the offences are not collected beyond definitions provided by the statutes.

Table A: Offences recorded by the police in Essex in which firearms were reported to have been used1, 1997 to 2001-02

Air-weapons

Non air-weapons

Total

1997

211

58

269

1998-992

270

47

317

1999-2000

283

61

344

2000-01

279

77

356

2001-023

448

98

546

1 By weapon being fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat.

2 There was a change in the counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998.

3 Figures may have been inflated by some police forces implementing the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard before 1 April 2002.

Table B: Offences recorded by the police in Essex in which firearms were reported to have been used1, 2002-03 to 2008-09

Air-weapons

Non air-weapons

Total

2002-032

584

148

732

2003-04

608

145

753

2004-053

360

193

553

2005-06

323

280

603

2006-07

308

255

563

2007-08

289

260

549

2008-09

196

176

372

1 By weapon being fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat.

2 The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced in April 2002. Figures before and after that date are not directly comparable.

3 More explicit guidelines for the classification of weapons introduced on 1 April 2004 may have increased the recording of firearm offences, particularly those committed by imitation weapons.