Fall in number of firearms offences

Airguns were used in almost half of the offences involving a firearm.

Airguns were used in almost half of the offences involving a firearm.

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The number of recorded crimes involving firearms have fallen by nearly three-quarters in the last 10 years.

Firearms were used in 332 recorded crimes in 2015/16, according to new figures released today (Tuesday).

The number of crimes where a person was killed or injured by a firearm fell by over a quarter, from 48 in 2014/15 to 35 the following year.

Robberies saw the largest drop in crimes where firearms were involved, with 40 per cent fewer in 2015/16 compared with the year before.

An air weapon was the main firearm in nearly half (48 per cent) of all offences involving a firearm.

Michael Matheson, Justice Secretary, said: “Today’s figures show excellent progress is being made to tackle the scourge of gun crime in Scotland. I am particularly pleased that the number of people killed or injured by firearms continues to fall.

“One offence involving a firearm is too many and we cannot be complacent. We will continue to work with police and the courts to eradicate gun crime.

“It is encouraging to see air weapons being used in fewer crimes, but they still account for half of the firearms involved in offending. Our new air weapons licensing laws, which come into force at the end of this year, will better protect our communities by taking these weapons out of the hands of those who would misuse them.”