Derbyshire Constabulary tackled almost 100 gun crimes during pandemic

Police recorded 85 gun crimes in Derbyshire during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.

By Joanna Morris, Data Reporter
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 8:47 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 3:35 pm

Lockdowns and other coronavirus restrictions contributed to gun crime dropping nationally in the year to March, but police forces across England and Wales still logged thousands of offences.

Home Office figures show Derbyshire Constabulary recorded 85 crimes involving firearms that year – and has dealt with 993 since police force level records began in 2007-08.

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.

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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.

There were eight firearm offences for every 100,000 people in the Derbyshire policing area in 2020-21 – down from 10 the year before.

The data covers crimes involving lethal firearms like shotguns and handguns and non-lethal weapons such as stun guns, but excludes offences involving air weapons.

It shows weapons were discharged or fired 23 times during incidents recorded by Derbyshire Constabulary 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.

Robberies and violent attacks made up more than half of all gun crimes, with offences most common on the streets.

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.

Gun crime dropped nationally by 14% compared to 2019-20 and has fallen significantly over 13 years – last year, it was 42% lower than in 2007-08.

Derbyshire Constabulary logged 70 gun crimes in 2007-08, 21% fewer than last year and the equivalent of seven in every 100,000 people.

The number of firearm crimes recorded by the force was at its highest in 2019-20.

A spokesman for the NPCC said any loss of life or injury from offensive weapons is "one too many", adding: "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."