4,000 shot in Britain
in a year
January 16, 2005
war on gun crime failing
THOUSAND people have suffered shooting injuries in a single year as gun
crime continues to rise across Britain. Figures released by the Home Office
show that 81 people were shot dead and more than 500 were seriously wounded
between April 2002 and March 2003.
details of gun casualties come as government statistics issued this month
are expected to show that other violent crime mainly fuelled by
binge drinking has risen by 11% compared with the same period last
injuries are revealed in a paper detailing crimes recorded by police in
England and Wales. It is the most up-to-date analysis available of the
type of weapons used and the scale of injury.
show that 518 people needed to be detained in hospital after being shot
and wounded in the 12-month period from 2002-03. More than one-third (187)
were seriously injured by handguns while 41 were wounded with shotguns.
In total, 3,995 people were shot, of whom about half (2,187) had minor
wounds caused by air guns.
will be of great concern to the government, which has tried to convince
the public it is winning the battle on gun crime. The 2003-04 figures
are also expected to see the trend continue with even more injuries being
caused by guns.
ago a guns amnesty was hailed a success by the government after more than
17,000 firearms and 450,000 rounds of ammunition were handed in to police
stations across the country. There have also been recent high-profile
operations to crack down on guns in inner cities.
gun crime figures released last October showed a 3% rise to 10,590 incidents
in England and Wales in the year to June an average of 29 a day.
Gun crime has more than doubled since Labour came to power in 1997.
a man was taken to hospital after being shot in the neck while sitting
in a parked car at a busy junction in Reading. The victim, who has not
been named but is believed to be about 30, is being treated in Royal Berkshire
hospital, which says his condition is serious.
volume of injuries from gunshots is further highlighted in figures obtained
by The Sunday Times from police forces under the Freedom of Information
past two years the Metropolitan police recorded 2,015 incidents, while
in Manchester 95 people were seriously wounded last year, according to
Greater Manchester police, and West Yorkshire police recorded 251 crimes
where a firearm was fired causing injury.
say the number of people admitted to hospital with gunshot injuries is
much higher than those released by the government because many hospitals
do not record the treatment of gunshot wounds, or the method of collecting
data differs between hospitals.
reporting: Ozge Ibrahim