Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, Scotland, 2016-17 & 2017-18

Published: 23 Apr 2019 09:30
Part of:
Law and order

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, 2016-17 & 2017-18. This bulletin provides information on crimes and offences recorded by the police in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved or where a firearm was stolen.

As outlined to users in January, an earlier review into the quality of these Official Statistics resulted in some change being made to the data collection process. This change has improved the accuracy of this information by reducing the risk that a police recorded offence involving a firearm has not been included in the data.

Statistics for the latest three years are provided in this bulletin using the improved data collection process. This includes a revision to previously published figures for 2015-16 and new information for both 2016-17 and 2017-18.

In 2017-18, the police in Scotland recorded 348 offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved, a decrease of 1% from 2016-17 (350 offences) and 13% from 2015-16 (402 offences).

Any direct comparison with previously published statistics for the period prior to 2015-16 will not provide a reliable measure of change, as earlier figures may have underestimated the number of offences involving firearms.

Despite this note of caution – it can be said that the number of offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved in 2017-18 was lower than any other year since the current data collection began in 1980.

The most commonly committed offences involving a firearm in 2017-18 were Possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, commit crime, etc.(18%), Breach of the peace etc. (17%) and Common assault (14%).

The number of offences in which a firearm was discharged and caused fatal or non-fatal injury decreased by two (or 5%) from 43 in 2016-17 to 41 in 2017-18.

An air weapon was the main firearm used in 36% of all offences including the alleged involvement of a firearm in 2017-18, followed by a pistol (11%) and a shotgun (7%).


  1. The full statistical publication can be accessed at:

Contact: Richard Clarke - 0131 244 3069 / 07467 447 253