(UK)Gun crime: a problem ready to explode


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gunsmith
December 27, 2003, 03:02 AM
Gun Free Utopia?
Gun crime: a problem ready to explode
(Filed: 27/12/2003)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/12/27/npc127.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/12/27/ixnewstop.html
Police were warned of a rise in indiscriminate, drug-fuelled violence two decades ago, but the response was muted. John Steele reports


Gun crime has been the most urgent and dangerous law and order problem facing police in Britain over the past three years.

Many in the police service have long feared that there would be a multiple shooting or killing of unarmed officers, who are often first at the scene of crimes involving men carrying guns.

A poll of Police Federation members earlier this year emphasised that, so far, rank and file police do not wish to be routinely armed.

But local polls among frontline officers in London and some other areas suggest much stronger support for an armed force in inner city areas. Though forces employ specialist firearms squads, they are relatively small.

One of the most notorious recent shootings of officers was in 1993, when Pc Pat Dunne, an unarmed beat officer in south-west London, was shot and killed as he walked into the path of gunmen who had already killed another man.

There have, however, been a number of instances in which shots, including hails of automatic bullets, have been fired in the direction of officers or their vehicles.

Though gun crime accounts for a tiny proportion of overall crime - around 0.18 per cent of recorded offences for non-air weapons - the fight against firearms crime consumes vast police resources.

The widely held public perception that gun crime is a "criminal versus criminal" affair has some justification. Many victims of shootings are involved in crime, particularly drugs.

However, firearms crime is increasingly driven by the indiscriminate and often drug-fuelled violence of a group of young men who do not care who gets in the way of their bullets.

They shoot victims in the street, in "drive-by" attacks or in nightclubs, in an attempt to wage war on rival gangs or, simply, to revenge themselves for perceived "disrespect".

British bank robbers have always been ready to use guns. And newly arrived immigrant communities, such as the Turkish/Kosovans and Albanians, have brought with them criminal elements who readily resort to guns to settle disputes.

However, the most pressing gun issue in the past decade has involved "black on black" violence among criminal groups in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham and other cities, much of it linked to the trade in crack cocaine.

Governments and police chiefs cannot claim that the rise in gun crime was not predictable.

In the 1980s law enforcement figures in the US warned Britain that crack - the highly addictive derivative of cocaine that caused mayhem in American cities - would cross the Atlantic. However, heroin, which was then linked to the spread of Aids, remained the top priority.

By the early 1990s, a number of senior officers in the Metropolitan Police were beginning to warn of the dangers of the Jamaican Yardie-style culture of cash, cars, cocaine and guns. Again, though, the police response was limited.

That culture is now well entrenched and a concern for police is that similar gun violence will emerge in other, non-black areas.

The historical trends in gun crimes are disturbing. In 1991, guns accounted for around eight per cent of homicides - 50 out of 623. In the year to April 2002, around 11.5 per cent of victims died from firearms - 96 out of 832.

After a dip in the mid-1990s, firearm crimes rose from 6,063 in 1996 to 7,362 five years later.

Between 1997 and 2002, gun robberies rose from 2,836 to 5,233 and incidents of violence against the person involving non-air weapons went up from 1,463 to 3,444.

There is, however, some bleak consolation - gun violence, and murders, could be a lot worse if the young British criminals could get hold of better weapons.

Experts agree that there is a shortage of high-quality military guns and ammunition. The gunmen use what they can afford, or obtain, and much of it is home-made and inefficient.
Related reports

Pc killed by hijack gunman

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gunsmith
December 27, 2003, 03:08 AM
http://www.sheffieldtoday.net/ViewArticle.aspx?SectionID=58&ArticleID=714987
Gun gang in terror raid

AN armed gang burst into a South Yorkshire businessman's home and threatened him and his family with a gun and pick-axe handles before stealing thousands of pounds in cash.

The terrifying ordeal began when the four masked men forced their way into the home of the 70-year-old man in Bolton-on-Dearne as he and his family watched television.
Police say the robbers threatened and intimidated the man, his 65-year-old wife and 34-year-old son, brandishing weapons in their faces and demanding they hand over cash and other valuables.
Then they then tied up their victims using belts and flex from electrical items in the home, escaping with a "substantial amount of money", believed to be thousands of pounds, and a quantity of cigarettes.
Police estimate the ordeal lasted at least half-an-hour as the men threatened the family and searched their home before making off with their haul.
The family were left completely helpless and remained tied up until the son managed to break free from the belts and flex wrapped tightly around his arms and legs. He then freed his parents and called the police.
Officers say although they were not physically harmed, all three victims are "extremely traumatised" by the robbery, but added they were dealing with their ordeal bravely.
It is believed the armed robbers left the scene in a four-by-four vehicle, possibly a Land Rover, which drove along Station Road in Bolton.
Police say they have not got a very good description of any of the masked attackers, who were all wearing full face balaclavas, but say they believe at least two had distinctive Yorkshire accents.
Today Det Sgt Steve Handley said: "Everyone feels most secure in their home and to have four armed and masked men burst in like that is obviously a terrifying experience.
"But they are a very resilient family and are determined to come to terms with what happened and refuse to allow this to ruin their lives."
Officers are appealing for anyone with information about the attack, which happened at 9pm on Friday, to contact Wombwell CID on 01226 736475.

23 December 2003

agricola
December 27, 2003, 04:18 AM
"crime happens in world shock"

:rolleyes:

WonderNine
December 27, 2003, 04:59 AM
Guns commit crime? When did this start?

Must be those new smart guns....

GM7RQK
December 27, 2003, 06:21 AM
This can't be right, after all guns are 'banned' over here :banghead:

agricola
December 27, 2003, 07:21 AM
it isnt right, for instance:

But local polls among frontline officers in London and some other areas suggest much stronger support for an armed force in inner city areas. Though forces employ specialist firearms squads, they are relatively small.

is an utter fraud - no poll, except for the Police Federation one mentioned, has been conducted of the type mentioned.

feedthehogs
December 27, 2003, 09:09 AM
Lesson 1, can't trust the media on either side of the pond.

Lesson 2, whether you are allowed to own guns or not there is still going to be gun crime.
The only difference is whether or not the Government wants you to be able to protect yourself.

Our only difference seems to be that ALL cops are armed which might lead one to think firing at them will get you dead.

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