Firearms: Seized Articles

Home Office written question – answered on 27th January 2015.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many illegal firearms were confiscated by UK customs officials at border checks in each of the last five years.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

Holding answer received on 23 January 2015

This government is doing more than any previous government to disrupt organised crime and protect the security of the border. Border Force was split from the failing UK Border Agency in 2012 and re-established security as the priority.

Border Force adopts an intelligence-led approach to all of its customs activity, including searching for firearms, so that resources can be deployed as effectively as possible. This work is a key aspect of the Government’s

approach to tackling organised crime and countering terrorism. The National Crime Agency and Border Force work tirelessly to target the criminal groups behind smuggling.

The most up to date figures for the number of illegal firearms seized is as follows:

YearNumber of firearms seized (units)

The numbers of firearms seized at the border fluctuates on a yearly basis. This can be attributed to a range of factors including the fact that organised crime groups regularly change which countries they seek to smuggle weapons into. Any

changes in the numbers of firearms seized at the border does not mean there has been a corresponding increase or decrease in the numbers that enter the UK after not being detected at the border.

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