Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, Scotland, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016

Statistics on those crimes and offences recorded by the police in Scotland in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved or where a firearm was stolen.

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1. Key Points

  • In 2014-15 the police in Scotland recorded 358 offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved, a decrease of 5% from 2013-14. In 2015-16 the police recorded 332 offences, a 7% decrease from 2014-15. This is the lowest recorded total since comparable records began, and a decrease of 74% since 2006-07 ( Table 1).
  • The overall decrease in offences involving firearms between 2014-15 and 2015-16 was driven by decreases in Robbery offences (-17, -40%), Reckless conduct with firearms offences (-23, or -28%), and Common assault offences (-13, or -18%) ( Table 2).
  • The use of firearms in criminal activity continues to constitute only a small proportion of all offences recorded by the police in 2015-16; 1.8% of Homicides (one offence), 1.4% of Attempted murders (four offences) and 1.9% of Robberies (25 offences). Only 0.1% of all Serious assaults, all Common assaults, and all Vandalism offences involved the alleged use of a firearm ( Table 3).
  • An air weapon was the main firearm in 48% (158) of all offences including the alleged involvement of a firearm in 2015-16, compared to 52% (185) in 2014-15 ( Table 4).
  • The number of offences in which a firearm was discharged and caused fatal or non-fatal injury decreased by 27% from 48 in 2014-15 to 35 in 2015-16 ( Table 6).
  • The decrease in the number of offences involving firearms was also driven by cases where the firearm was not discharged (e.g., the firearm was used to threaten) or was discharged but resulted in no injury or resulted in damage to property ( Table 6).
  • Of the 35 main victims who were either fatally or non-fatally injured during an offence in which a firearm was discharged in 2015-16, 20 were male (57%) and 15 were female (43%). Of these victims, 29% were aged under 16. There were no reported offences involving the shooting of a police officer causing fatal or non-fatal injury ( Table 11).
  • In 2015-16, 68% of all offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved were cleared up, a decrease of six percentage points from 74% in 2014-15 ( Table 12).
  • Individuals aged between 16 and 40 are more likely to be accused of an offence compared to younger and older individuals. Whereas this group accounts for 32% [1] of the population they make up to 64% of all accused in 2015-16 ( Table 13).


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