Firearms offences in Scotland at lowest level since 1980

The number of offences involving a firearm is at its lowest level for almost 40 years, according to official statistics.

Police recorded the lowest number of firearms offences since 1980

Details from Scotland's chief statistician show police recorded 348 offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved in 2017/18, a decrease of one per cent from 2016-17 (350 offences) and 13 per cent from 2015-16 (402 offences).

The Scottish Government urged caution with comparing annual figures, with previous year's totals thought to have been underestimated.

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But even despite this, it can be said that the number of offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved in 2017-18 was lower than any other year since the current data collection began in 1980.

The most commonly committed offences involving a firearm in 2017-18 were possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, commit crime, etc.(18 per cent), breach of the peace (17 per cent) and common assault (14 per cent).

There were two homicides involving a firearm in 2017/18 and 10 attempted murders.

Despite a nationwide surrender campaign, air weapons were the most common firearm used, recorded in more than a third of all incidents, followed by a pistol (11 per cent) and a shotgun (7 per cent).

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf said: “These figures show we are continuing to make progress in tackling firearms misuse with offences now at their lowest level for any single year since 1980.

“While firearms offences are rare, we know that just one such incident can have a devastating impact on victims and the wider community, so we are determined to continue working with our partners to reduce these numbers.

“Having successfully lobbied to have the relevant powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament, we are the only part of Great Britain to licence air weapons – ensuring that only those with a legitimate need have lawful access to them."