The number of firearms offences in Scotland has reached the lowest level in a decade since records began, after rates fell by almost a third in a year, figures from a new report by the country’s Chief Statistician revealed.
In 2012/2013, there were 365 firearms offences registered, down on 535 in the previous year. Shootings dropped by 31%, standing at 66 cases this year. However, cases involving rifles more than doubled in 12 months and reached 16, up on six in 2011/2012.
Moreover, in 2012/2013 in Scotland there was only one murder with a firearm, compared to four in the previous year. The number of robberies involving firearms plummeted from 82 in 2011/2012 to 39 last year, figures also showed.
Commenting on the report, Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill stated that the downward trend was a positive sign. Despite the fact that nearly all types of firearms offences have significantly declined, there should be no place for complacency and the hard work to make Scotland a safer place should continue. Efforts should be concentrated on tackling crimes involving air weapons because these currently account for more than half of the total number of offences, he added.
According to deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone of Police Scotland, the data confirms that firearms crimes are relatively rare in Scotland, and that attempts to bring these further down will continue, Police Professional website reported.