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Gun offences rise in Thames Valley

The number include offences where a gun was used as a threat.

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 5:47am 18th February 2020. 2-minute read.

Gun offences rise in Thames Valley

The Thames Valley has seen a rise in the number of gun offences. 

Thames Valley Police recorded 67 crimes with a gun in 2018-19, according to data from the Home Office. 

That is an increase of 5 from 2017-18, where 62 were recorded. 

This figure includes incidents where the gun was fired, used as a blunt weapon or as a threat. 

Although there were three firearms offences per 100,000 population in Thames Valley, that is below the national average of 11.

Peter Squires, a member of Gun Control Network who campaign for tighter controls on guns in the UK, said:

"Although gun crime has risen it is still nowhere near as high as it was 15 years ago.

"What police forces were doing between 2005 and 2015 was pushing gun crime down. Priorities have shifted towards knife crime and that's why gun problems pop up in a cyclical way.

Offences with low-powered weapons such as BB guns and pepper spray are included in police figures, alongside shotguns, handguns and rifles.

However, with the data excluding crimes involving air weapons, meaning the real number may be higher.

Kit Malthouse, Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service said:

“We are taking action to make our streets safer and protect people from violence.

“We are recruiting 20,000 new police officers, giving them more powers to take dangerous weapons off our streets and ensuring serious violent and sexual offenders spend longer behind bars.

"The Offensive Weapons Act introduces new laws which will give police extra powers to seize dangerous weapons."

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