§ Mr. Wrigglesworth
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of indictable offences connected with firearms in each of the last 10 years and the number and percentage of them that involved air weapons.
§ Mr. Brittan
The numbers of indictable offences recorded by the police in which firearms were reported to have been used and the numbers in which the firearm reported was an air weapon were published in table 3.3 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 1978", 523W (Cmnd. 7670). The percentages requested are given in the following table. Air weapons are the firearms most used in offences of criminal damage and the increases in the proportion of offences in which air weapons were used are partly attributable to inflation resulting in smaller amounts of damage being valued at over £20.
Indictable offences* recorded by the police in which an air weapon was reported to have been used, expressed as a percentage of all indictable offences* recorded by the police in which firearms were reported to have been used England and Wales Percentage of total 1969 45 1970 49 1971 51 1972 62 1973 66 1974 66 1975 65 1976 68 1977 69 1978 75 * For 1969–71 offences of criminal damage are included when the damage was estimated at over £100; for 1972–77 they are included when the damage was estimated at over £20.