Originally Posted by Jono
Polwart.. your quoted statistics don't say that... only between the last two recorded years published.. hardly a trend... since '97 what has the trend been?
In the period since 1997 the police have changed the way they record the statistics 3 times... ...so any comparison of the direct numbers could be misleading. However:
Crimes using "immitation weapons" have risen consistently since the term was introduced in 1999.
Crimes using handguns have fallen for the last two recorded years (but did rise in the late 90's) - there isn't enough information to know if this fluctuation is normal / random or a trend.
Because the way the police record the stats changed, it seems that the home office are preferring to compare the % of all crimes that involved guns rather than the absolute number. This doesn't seem innapropriate to me, although it could be a fudge!
in the 10 years to 2003/04 the change in the % of total crime that involved firearms in 0.1%. I would suggest that this is not a significant increase.
The figures are also broken down to include each type of crime (e.g. offences against person, criminal damage, robbery etc). All are now at lower levels (as % involving guns of the total crime) than they were 10 years before, with the exception of criminal damage (these figures include air gun crime which accounts for much of this).
Finally firearm related mortality in England and Wales remains the lowest (0.3 per 100,000 population per annum) in anywhere in the developed world with the exception of Japan (0.1 per 100,000 population per annum). [this excludes luxemburg and malta where this value is not reported - presumably due to the small populations]
All this information came from - Home Office website, and various links therefrom - including the UK Office of Statistics.