How many offences were recorded?
- Since 2015-16 the number of firearms offences has fallen by 15%, from 402 in 2015-16 to 341 in 2019-20
- 2019-20 saw the second lowest level since records began in 1980 (2018-19 saw the lowest level at 332 offences)
What types of firearms were used (excluding unidentified and other firearms)?
- 39% Pistol/revolver
- 29% Air weapon
- 16% Imitation
- 13% Shotgun
- 2% Rifle
How were the weapons used?
- 55% Used to threaten
- 12% Fired - no injury/damage
- 12% Other uses
- 9% Fired - fatal/non-fatal injury
- 7% Fired - damage to property
- 5% Used as a blunt instrument
Where were they used?
- 40% of offences occured in a dwelling
- 27% of offences occurred in the street
- 9% of offences occurred in a shop
Who were the perpetrators?
- 96% male
- 4% female
- 28 is the median age of the perpetrator
This bulletin provides new information for the reporting years of 2018-19 and 2019-20, on crimes and offences recorded by the police in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved or where a firearm was stolen.
Statistics for the five years of 2015-16 to 2019-20 are provided using the improved data collection process that was highlighted in the previous bulletin. That change increased the accuracy of this information by reducing the risk that a police recorded offence involving a firearm has not been included in the data.
The first nationwide lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was introduced towards the very end of the 2019-20 reporting year. As such it is likely to have had a minimal effect on the figures presented here.
- In 2019-20, the police in Scotland recorded 341 offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved, an increase of 3% from 2018-19 (332 offences) and down 2% from 2017-18 (348 offences).
- The 332 offences in 2018-19 were the lowest since records began in 1980, with the 341 offences in 2019-20 the second lowest.
- The most commonly committed offences involving a firearm in 2019-20 were Possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, commit crime etc. (33%), Breach of the peace etc. (14%) and Robbery (11%).
- The number of offences in which a firearm was discharged and caused fatal or non-fatal injury increased by seven (or 26%) from 27 in 2018-19 to 34 in 2019-20.
- A pistol/revolver was the main firearm used in 28% of all offences including the alleged involvement of a firearm in 2019-20, followed by an air weapon (21%) and other firearms (18%).
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