Gun crime rises in Dorset

Gun crime rises in Dorset

Published by George Sharpe at 3:42pm 17th February 2020. (Updated at 11:52am 18th February 2020)

Police recorded dozens of gun offences in Dorset last year, new figures show.

It comes amid a national rise in gun crime with nearly 10,000 offences involving firearms across England and Wales.

Dorset Police recorded 44 crimes with a gun in 2018-2019, according to Home Office data.

That's an increase from the 34 offences recorded in 2017-18.

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The incidents include offences where a firearm has been fired, used as a blunt instrument or as a threat.

Offences with low-powered weapons such as BB guns and pepper spray are included in police figures, alongside shotguns, handguns and rifles. However, with the data excluding crimes involving air weapons, the real number may be higher.

It means there were six firearms offences per 100,000 population in Dorset – below the national average of 11.

Police Car
Almost 10,000 gun crimes were recorded by police across England and Wales last year.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said:

"The number of offences involving a firearm is very small and the figures show that Dorset is well below the national average.

"A number of these incidents involve offenders who are from outside of the county, and reflect the work we are doing to tackle county lines drugs gangs and organised crime.

"We regularly participate in nationally co-ordinated firearms amnesty campaigns and last year our efforts saw 82 items handed in to Dorset Police during the firearms and ammunition surrender between 20 July and 4 August.

"We are also committed to prevention work, which includes our Tactical Firearms Unit visiting schools to raise awareness of the dangers of possessing firearms and knives."