§ Mr. Kimball
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT figures showing the number of indictable offences involving firearms for 1969.
§ Mr. Maudling
The number of indictable offences involving firearms known to the police in England and Wales in 1969 was 3,298 (as compared with 2,503 in 1968). In 1,308 of these offences a firearm was fired or presented, in 109 a firearm was carried but not used and in the remaining 1,881 a firearm was involved only by being misappropriated. The corresponding figures for 1968 were 878, 83 and 1,542. The increase in the number of offences in which a firearm was fired or presented is mainly due to a marked rise in the offences involving air guns. It is thought that improved reporting partly accounts for the increase in the figures.