Firearms offences hit 34-year low


Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill today welcomed statistics that show the overall number of recorded offences in Scotland involving firearms has more than halved since 2006/07.

The number of offences recorded by Scotland's police forces fell 21 per cent, from 647 in 2010-11 to 514 in 2011/12. This represents the lowest total recorded in Scotland in 34 years and marks a reduction of more than 50 per cent of 2006/07’s total of 1,260.

Mr MacAskill said:

“These figures represent great progress in tackling the menace of firearms offences in our communities. Year on year, the number of crimes involving guns on our streets is dropping rapidly.

“The message appears to be getting across that guns put lives at risk and anyone caught using them can and will be punished heavily. This is complemented by great detection, educational and preventative work done day in, day out, by our police officers across Scotland to make our communities safer.

"While there are many positive elements to today's firearm statistics, we cannot be complacent. All of us - the Government, police, the Crown Office and the courts - must continue working hard to ensure that in the long term, the number of offences involving firearms continues to fall.

"While the overall number of air weapon offences has dropped again this year, the figure of 195 offences remains too high. As a Government we pressed the UK Government time and time again to let us take action on air weapons, and have now been transferred the powers to allow us to do that. We will shortly bring forward our proposals on how we intend to tighten the law to do that.”

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