Offensive Weapons: Shropshire

Home Department written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes involving a weapon there have been in North Shropshire in each year since 1997; and what type of weapon was involved in each case.

Photo of Alan Campbell Alan Campbell Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)

The main police recorded crime return does not identify the use of a weapon in a given offence. Figures are collected for possession of weapon offences, but these do not include the more serious offences with which weapons are often associated, such as grievous bodily harm with intent.

Data relating to firearms offences and knife and sharp instrument offences are available, through additional special collections separate to the main recorded crime return. Figures are collected at police force level only, so data are provided for West Mercia police force area.

Data for firearms offences (excluding air weapons) are available since 1997-98 and are shown in Tables A, B and C.

There were two major changes in the way that police record crime in 1998 and 2002. In April 1998, the way in which crime was counted changed and the coverage of offences increased. In April 2002 the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced, which brought in a more victim-focused reporting system. This means that it is not possible to compare figures across these recording changes and this is reflected in the tables.

Data for knife/sharp instrument offences have been collected since April 2007 via a special additional data collection. Data are therefore only available for two years.

In 2007-08, the data collection covered the following offences: attempted murder, GBH and robbery. In 2008-09, the collection was expanded to include threats to kill, ABH, rape and sexual assaults. There were also changes in how both GBH with and without intent was recorded by forces following clarification of counting rules. Therefore, the figures between the two years are not comparable.

The data for knife/sharp instrument offences are shown in Tables D and E.

Table A: Firearm offences (excluding air weapons) in West Mercia police force area, 1997-98
Total number of offences
1997-98 30
Table B: Firearm offences (excluding air weapons) in West Mercia police force area, 1998-99 to 2001-02( 1,2)
Total number of offences
1998-99 38
1999-2000 36
2000-01 41
2001-02 54
(1) The coverage was extended and counting rules revised from 1998/99. Figures from that date are not directly comparable with those for 1997-98.

(2) The data in this table are prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for later years.

Table C: Firearm offences (excluding air weapons) in West Mercia police force area, 2002-03 to 2008-09( 1)
Total number of offences
2002-03 48
2003-04 62
2004-05 151
2005-06 115
2006-07 58
2007-08 124
2008-09 79
(1) The data in this table take account of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.
Table D: Knife and sharp instrument offences recorded by West Mercia police for selected offences, 2007-08( 1)
Offence category Number of offences
Attempted murder 1
Wounding with intent to do GBH 43
Wounding or inflicting GBH without intent(2) 20
Robbery 80
Total of selected serious offences 144
(1) Other offences exist that are not shown in this table that may include the use of a knife or sharp instalment. In this table "offences involving a knife" refers to the use of a knife or sharp instrument. Total of selected serious offences only include the five offence types shown in this table.

(2) Includes racially or religiously aggravated wounding or inflicting GBH.

Table E: Knife and sharp instrument offences recorded by West Mercia police for selected offences, 2008-09( 1)
Offence category Number of offences
Attempted murder 5
Threats to kill 16
ABH and GBH(2) 137
Robbery 81
Rape and sexual assaults 1
Total of selected serious offences 242
(1) Other offences exist that are not shown in this table that may include the use of a knife or sharp instrument In this table "offences involving a knife" refers to the use of a knife or sharp instrument. Total of selected serious offences only include the five offence types shown in this table. Collection expanded in 2008-09.

(2) Includes racially or religiously aggravated wounding or inflicting GBH.

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