Gun crime has almost doubled in the last decade despite high profile Government campaigns to tackle the problem.
Offences involving firearms have increased in all but four police areas in England and Wales since 1998, figures obtained by the Tories reveal.
One part of the country has seen the problem increase almost seven fold as the availability of guns, and criminals' williness to use them rises.
One of the standard noises we hear in the US is "We need to have laws like Britain does to control crime"; as I say, that's not actually working out.
There were 9,865 firearm offences in 2007/08, a rise of 89 per cent on the 5,209 recorded in 1998/99.
Lancashire Police saw a 598 per cent increase from just 50 to 349 over the period while Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Essex all saw five fold increases.
In total, 21 forces saw offences at least double over the decade while just four, Cleveland, Humberside, Cambridgeshire and Sussex, saw the number fall.
It should be pointed out that the 'saw the number fall' has to be viewed with suspicion; the Brit government has been caught cooking the books to make things look better far too many times. Speaking of which,
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "It is misleading to compare figures for 2007 / 08 with those from 2002 and before, due to changes in recording practices.
"There has been an 11 per cent fall in gun crime since 2005 and provisional figures for firearm offences recorded by the police show they account for 0.2 per cent of all recorded crime.
Yeah, it's 'changes in recording practices' that makes it look bad, uh huh.
So, once again, it's demonstrated that on an island they can't keep bad guys from getting arms; they can only disarm the honest citizen.
Ah, just looked at Kevin for the first time in a few days, and I find this post, which includes this reaction to armed police on patrols:
"No one asked us or the people I represent if this was acceptable and when they do I shall tell them it isn't. It isn't acceptable to throw away the principle of policing by consent," she said.Soooo, you're saying that having armed foot patrols in the area might "escalate the situation"? Who do you represent, Ms. Marshall-Andrews? The residents or the thugs?
Gill Marshall-Andrews, chairwoman of the Gun Control Network campaign group, described the routine arming of officers as a "very retrograde step" and warned that it could lead to higher levels of gun crime.
"This is likely to raise the stakes and encourage more criminals, especially young criminals, to arm themselves," she said.