HC Deb 29 June 1972 vol 839 cc1653-4
25. Mr. Loveridge

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give figures covering each of the last five years to show how often imitations of real firearms have been used in connec- tion with crimes committed, and whether that use is increasing.

Mr. Carlisle

In the four years 1967 to 1970, the numbers of indictable offences known to the police in England and Wales in which imitation firearms were used were 62, 78, 72 and 84. Figures for 1971 are not yet available.

Mr. Loveridge

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that there are a number of advertisements offering for sale very realistic imitations of revolvers for about £14 each? Is he further aware that these are not intended for use as toys by children? Will he consider taking steps to control their sale?

Mr. Carlisle

I am aware of that. I should point out, in case it is not realised, that it is an offence under the Firearms Act to carry a firearm whether it be real or imitation if it is carried with intent to commit an indictable offence. I am sure my hon. Friend will agree that there are very real difficulties in trying to impose any control on the sale of replicas.