BBC: Gun crimes 'continuing to rise'


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Gary H
October 21, 2004, 03:42 AM
The number of firearms offences in England and Wales has risen in the last year, figures due from the Home Office on Thursday are expected to show.
It is believed there has been a 3% climb in gun crimes, following a 2% rise the previous year.

The statistics are also likely to show a rise in the use of imitation weapons.

But it is thought the figures, which cover the 12 months to April this year, will also show a drop in the number of shooting-related deaths.

The BBC's home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says the murder in Nottingham of 14-year-old Danielle Beccan sparked renewed concern about levels of gun crime.

She was killed in a drive-by shooting on her way home from a funfair almost a fortnight ago.

A gun amnesty is being planned for the city and a campaign to reassure to public is being brought forward.

Earlier in the month, six people were shot in the space of an hour in London and Bristol. Two people were killed in the London incident.

Smaller rises

But despite the fear caused by the murders, the Home Office figures are set to show firearms-related deaths are comparatively rare.

Last year the number fell to 81 from 97 in the previous 12 months. This year's figure is expected to be lower still.

The small rises in gun crimes for the last two years compare with a 34% increase recorded in 2002.


In 2003, the Home Office introduced a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence for anyone caught in possession of an illegal firearm.
Government officials claimed there was anecdotal evidence from the police that the move is having a deterrent effect, but that it was too early for this to be reflected in Thursday's figures.

The statistics on imitation weapons come a day after figures emerged from a survey by police in Manchester which showed that more than 70% of callouts from the city's armed response units dealt with fake guns.

The government has previously ruled out a wholesale ban on imitation firearms, saying it was too difficult to find a legal definition for replicas.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/3761626.stm

Published: 2004/10/20 23:34:47 GMT

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agricola
October 21, 2004, 07:54 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3761626.stm

Gun crime figures show fresh rise
Guns
Home Office figures show a rise in gun crime
The number of firearms offences in England and Wales has risen in the last year, according to Home Office figures released on Thursday.

There has been a 3% climb in gun crime, following a 2% rise the previous year, the figures show.

The statistics also show a 35% rise in crimes involving imitation weapons.

But the figures, which cover the 12 months to April this year, also show a 15% drop in the number of shooting-related deaths.


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Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said the government had to get across the message that "carrying a gun is not a cool thing to do".

She told the BBC: "If you look a couple of years ago, gun crime was going up quite dramatically.

"It went up about 35%, and yet last year we managed to get that right down, and we think that gun crime has now stabilised."

BBC home affairs correspondent Andy Tighe said the government was interpreting the 3% rise in gun crime as "acceptable and predictable".


GUN CRIME: YEAR TO JUNE 04
Fatalities: 70 -15%
Serious injuries: 430 no change
Total firearms offences: 10,590 +3%
With replica/ imitation gun: 1,350 +35%
With handgun: 4,910 -10%
Comparisons are with year to June 03

But he said the rise came on top of a "quite substantial increase" in firearms offences in recent years.

"Main cities such as Manchester, London, Birmingham and Nottingham do have special units targeting gun crime and the drugs trade, and they are having a significant amount of success."

Separate quarterly crime figures compiled for the Home Office in the British Crime Survey on Thursday showed that general crime was down by 7%, according to householders interviewed for the study. Crime figures recorded by police also showed a 5% fall.

The recent murder in Nottingham of 14-year-old Danielle Beccan has renewed concern about levels of gun crime.

She was killed in a drive-by shooting on her way home from a funfair almost a fortnight ago.

Danielle Beccan
Danielle Beccan's murder put the focus back on gun-related deaths
A 20-year-old Nottingham man, Mark Kelly, has been charged with her murder, while a second man aged 23 has also been charged with murder. He was due to appear in court on Thursday.

A gun amnesty is being planned for the city and a campaign to reassure the public is being brought forward.

Earlier in the month, six people were shot in the space of an hour during incidents in London and Bristol. Two people were killed in the London incident.


But the Home Office figures show firearms-related deaths are comparatively rare.

Last year the number fell to 81 from 97 in the previous 12 months.

The small rises in gun crimes for the last two years compare with a 34% increase recorded in 2002.

In 2003, the Home Office introduced a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence for anyone caught in possession of an illegal firearm.

Government officials claimed there was anecdotal evidence from the police that the move is having a deterrent effect, but that it was too early for this to be reflected in Thursday's figures.

The statistics on imitation weapons come a day after figures emerged from a survey by police in Manchester which showed that more than 70% of callouts from the city's armed response units dealt with fake guns.

The government has previously ruled out a wholesale ban on imitation firearms, saying it was too difficult to find a legal definition for replicas.

note: the 35% rise with regards to imitation firearms is solely due to Police detecting these offences by arresting the person involved - in the same way that when drug dealing goes up in the official statistics, its actually a good thing.

halvey
October 21, 2004, 11:13 AM
This can't be. I thought guns were banned?;)

Chipperman
October 21, 2004, 12:41 PM
Go England!

It's so much more civilized to be murdered by an improvised weapon than being shot by a gun. :rolleyes:

R.H. Lee
October 21, 2004, 12:44 PM
Why, that's absolutely uncivilized! Damn cowboys........

Nathaniel Firethorn
October 21, 2004, 05:19 PM
The statistics are also likely to show a rise in the use of imitation weapons. To match the government's imitation countermeasures. :rolleyes:

- pdmoderator

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
October 22, 2004, 08:59 AM
To match the government's imitation countermeasures

Sort of reminds one of those life-sized cardboard cutout "police officers" you used to see in the malls.

"Halt! Shoplifting is illegal!" :D

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