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Surrendered Handguns: Disposal

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 3 September 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:How many handguns have been handed in to each police force under the provisions of the Firearms Acts; how many of these have been destroyed; and what records police forces are required to keep of the identification numbers, or other particulars, of firearms handed in and destroyed. [HL3231]

Under the terms of the Firearms (Amendment) Acts 1997, a total of 162,198 handguns were surrendered to the police in England, Wales and Scotland. A breakdown of these figures by police force area is contained in the table. A proportion of the 3,607 firearms surrendered or otherwise disposed of under the terms of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 will also have been handguns but details of these were not recorded centrally.Figures for the number of handguns destroyed are not collected centrally. The vast majority of handguns surrendered to the police have been destroyed, or will be when the relevant compensation claims have been settled and disposal instructions issued by the Firearms Compensation Section. A small number of handguns will be retained by the police for official purposes or will be given to suitably authorised museums.The way in which the details of firearms surrendered to the police were recorded is a matter for individual chief officers. Serial numbers for such firearms should have been given on the compensation claim forms submitted to the police at the time of surrender, and should have been checked by the police against the serial numbers appearing on the firearms themselves and in the relevant firearm certificates or dealers' registers of transactions.

Handguns Surrendered under the Firearms Acts 1997
Constabulary/Police1997 Act1997 (No. 2) Act
England & WalesLarge CalibreSmall Calibre (ex gratia)TotalSmall CalibreCombined Total
Avon & Somerset3,2275663,7937024,495
Bedfordshire9922321,2241501,374
City of London733010330133
Cambridgeshire1,1763651,5412531,794
Cheshire2,2503612,6113672,978
Cleveland7002429421231,065
Cumbria8631501,0132741,287
Derbyshire1,7914762,2672872,554
Devon & Cornwall3,6255734,1988925,090
Dorset2,2075452,7523483,100
Durham1,0203131,3331081,441
Dyfed Powys1,3202341,5542391,793
Essex4,8401,2686,1086586,766
Gloucestershire1,1022801,3823181,700
Greater Manchester3,8341,0934,9275955,522
Gwent1,1122891,4011631,564
Hampshire3,7577664,5236495,172
Hertfordshire1,9984352,4332412,674
Humberside1,1693521,5212161,737
Kent3,7458224,5676035,170
Lancashire2,2806712,9513403,291
Leicestershire2,5153772,8922023,094
Lincolnshire1,3083381,6461621,808
Merseyside2,9076503,5574083,965
Met Area 169917787689965
Met Area 22,8526293,4814993,980
Met Area 33,2647494,0134734,486
Met Area 44,1768685,0448205,864
Met Area 53,3245733,8976314,528
Norfolk2,2245542,7783503,128
Northamptonshire1,0483331,3812261,607
Northumbria1,8234592,2822792,561
North Wales1,2672871,5542631,817
North Yorkshire3,1057943,8991264,025
Nottinghamshire3,5715554,1266284,754
South Wales2,8627843,6463373,983
South Yorkshire2,1256632,7882193,007
Staffordshire2,9426413,5833643,947
Suffolk1,5985272,1252162,341
Surrey3,1146683,7826804,462
Sussex Thames3,2865023,7885304,318

Handgun Surrendered under the Firearms Acts 1997

Constabulary/Police

1997 Act

1997 (No. 2) Act

England & Wales

Large Calibre

Small Calibre (ex gratia)

Total

Small Calibre

Combined Total

Valley3,8068074,6131,0135,626
Warwickshire8322151,0471761,223
West Mercia2,5886083,1964913,687
West Midlands5,0118255,8366406,476
West Yorkshire3,7026544,3565884,944
Wiltshire1,3523201,6722041,876
Sub Total for E and W110,38224,620135,00218,170153,172

Scotland

Central Scotland28910339217409
Dumfries and Galloway2368331933352
Fife2937636961430
Grampian65714980685891
Lothian and Borders1,2532451,4981941,692
Northern9583071,2651731,438
Strathclyde1,9226332,5553782,933
Tayside65415580972881
Sub total for Scotland6,2621,7518,0131,0139,026
Overall total for E, W and S116,64426,371143,01519,183162,198