Government welcomes record low level of firearms offences in Scotland

Humza Yousaf
Humza Yousaf

The Scottish government has welcomed new figures revealing that the number of firearms offences in Scotland hit an all-time low last year.

Police recorded 348 offences in 2017-18 in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved, a decrease of one per cent from 2016-17 (350 offences) and 13 per cent from 2015-16 (402 offences).

The latest figure is the lowest on record since current data collection began in 1980.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “These figures show we are continuing to make progress in tackling firearms misuse with offences now at their lowest level for any single year since 1980.

“While firearms offences are rare, we know that just one such incident can have a devastating impact on victims and the wider community, so we are determined to continue working with our partners to reduce these numbers.

“Having successfully lobbied to have the relevant powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament, we are the only part of Great Britain to licence air weapons – ensuring that only those with a legitimate need have lawful access to them.

“Since our licensing legislation was passed in 2015-16 offences involving an air weapon have fallen by a third. This is testament to the hard work of Police Scotland, and partners, in introducing the new licensing regime.”