Information

Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, Scotland, 2018-19 and 2019-20

Statistics on 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.

This document is part of a collection


Keypoints

Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, Scotland, 2019-20

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.

Key Points:

  • 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[1] (18%).

Contact

Email: Justice_Analysts@gov.scot

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