Police deal with over 100 gun crimes
More than 100 gun crimes were recorded in the Northumbria Police area during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.
Lockdowns and other virus restrictions contributed to firearms crime dropping nationally in the year to March, but forces still logged thousands of offences.
Home Office figures show Northumbria Police recorded 105 crimes involving firearms that year – and has dealt with 998 since individual force records began in 2007-08.
The data covers crimes involving firearms like shotguns and handguns and non-lethal weapons such as stun guns, but excludes air weapons – and also shows weapons were discharged or fired 36 times during incidents last year.
Nationally, more than 1,000 people were injured and dozens died as a result of gun crime in 2020-21, when forces in England and Wales tackled 5,700 firearms offences.
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The National Police Chiefs' Council said there is more work to be done nationally to stop those intent on carrying weapons and prevent the "terrible consequences" of gun crime.
A spokesman for the NPCC said: “These figures reflect important on-going work by police and our partners to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and other serious incidents due to armed criminality."
A Government spokesman said it was recruiting 20,000 extra police officers and had given forces greater powers to stop and search, in an effort to tackle the issue and remove dangerous weapons from the streets.
He said the country had some of the toughest gun controls in the world and that firearms offences made up a small proportion of recorded crime.