The UK has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. Do tell, #GunControlNow crowd, how do you propose to make criminals obey gun laws?
From the Mayor of London web site (23 Jan 2018):
The term ‘gun crime’ covers both lethal weapons, such as shotguns and handguns, and non-lethal weapons, such as air weapons and stun guns. Over the last few years, gun crime has been on the rise in London. The number of offences is small compared with other types of crime, but nonetheless it is a crime with devastating consequences for victims, families and communities.
- In the last three years, the number of offences has risen. In the 12 months to October 2017, there were 2,500 offences involving guns: a 16 per cent increase on the previous year and a 44 per cent increase on 2014.
- In the year to October 2017, out of 2,542 gun crimes, 770 guns were fired, of which 318 were classed as lethal weapons.
- The number of lethal guns fired has increased by around 20 percent since 2012.
- In the year to October 2017, gangs accounted for 10 per cent of all gun crime offences, 18 per cent of the offences where a gun was fired and 41 per cent of the offences where a lethal gun was fired.
- In the year to October 2017, 59 per cent of gun crime offenders were aged 25 or younger.
- The supply of guns into the UK from abroad is a growing concern, with a small but increasing number of weapons originating from Eastern Europe, particularly de-commissioned guns, which are easily converted.
- The use of technology is changing the way people access guns, in particular with the use of the ‘dark web’.
- Gangs account for nearly half of all offences where a lethal gun is fired.
- However, gun use appears to be spreading outside of gang disputes.
The Mayor of London needs to ensure that he is focused on stopping guns from entering the capital, and making sure young people are aware of the consequences of carrying a gun.
More information the full report which you can read here:
- Data shows most instances that involve a gun are violence against the person offences. The use of guns in this type of crime—which includes offences such as harassment, Grievous Bodily Harm, and assault with injury—has risen since 2012.
- The Met said that “surprisingly low numbers” of legally owned firearms are stolen in London.
- It is less clear how much fear for safety drives gun use, but given that much gun crime is linked to drugs and gangs, it is more likely to be an adjunct to other crime, in which the criminal needs to adopt an aggressive, controlling stance, and which elicits the need for a different response.
- The Deputy Commissioner has said that while surrenders tend to result in “‘trophy’ weapons” being handed in, rather than guns used in crime, it contributes to a reduction in weapons that could potentially be used in criminal activity.