2. Main Points
- In 2013-14, the police in Scotland recorded 374 offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved, a slight increase of 2% from the 365 recorded in 2012-13. This is the second lowest recorded total since comparable records began (Table 1).
- The overall increase in offences involving firearms was driven by increases in Reckless conduct with firearms offences (+20, or +28%), offences relating to the Firearms Act 1968 (+16, +50%) and Breach of the peace offences (+6, or +9%) (Table 1a).
- The use of firearms in criminal activity continues to constitute only a small proportion of all offences recorded by the police in 2013-14; 1.6% of Homicides (one offence), 0.3% of Attempted murders (one offence) and 2.5% of Robberies (38 offences). Less than 0.5% of all Serious assaults, Vandalism offences and Common assaults involved the alleged use of a firearm (Table 2).
- An air weapon was the main firearm in 49% (182) of all offences involving the alleged involvement of a firearm in 2013-14, compared to 47% (171) in 2012-13 (Table 3).
- The number of offences in which a firearm was discharged and caused fatal or non-fatal injury decreased by 35% from 66 in 2012-13 to 43 in 2013-14 (Table 5).
- The increase in the number of offences involving firearms was, therefore, driven by crimes involving firearms whereby the firearm was not discharged (e.g., the firearm was used to threaten) or was discharged but resulted in no injury (Table 5).
- Of the 43 main victims who were either fatally or non-fatally injured during an offence in which a firearm was discharged in 2013-14, 31 were male (72%) and 12 were female (28%). Of these victims, around a quarter (26%) were aged under 16. There were no reported offences involving the shooting of a police officer causing fatal or non-fatal injury (Table 10).
- In 2013-14, 68% of all offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved were cleared up, a slight increase of two percentage points from the 66% in 2012-13 (Table 11).
- In 2013-14, the main accused was aged 15 years or under in 7% (19 offences) of the 254 cleared up offences involving the use of a firearm. This is the lowest proportion for this age group since 2004-05 (Table 12).
Email: Alastair Greig