HL Deb 17 May 1973 vol 342 cc959-60WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How the following passages in Cmnd. 5297 (Control of Firearms in Great Britain), in which all statistics are said to relate to England and Wales, are to be reconciled:

  1. (a) In Table A, paragraph 14, the total of offences known to police in which firearms were used in 1971 is given as 1,735.
  2. (b) Paragraph 26 states that: "During the year 1971 there were in England and Wales 304 offences known to the police in which a rifle or pistol was used, and 384 offences in which a long-barrelled or sawn-off shot gun was used. These figures illustrate how few firearms are used for criminal purposes by comparison with the total number of firearms held lawfully".


The figure of 1,735 given in Table A in paragraph 14 comprises offences in which firearms of all kinds were used. In addition to the 304 offences in which rifles and pistols were used, and the 384 in which shot guns were used, it includes 888 offences in which air weapons were used. Full details are given in Table B in paragraph 15. The quoted passage in paragraph 26 mentions some of these figures only, for the purposes of a comparison between the numbers of persons holding firearm and shot gun certificates and the numbers of offences in which weapons requiring such certificates were used.

House adjourned at twelve minutes before six o'clock.