2008 - SUMMARIES

JANUARY 2008 - SUMMARY

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  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - In January 2008 there were a disturbing number of serious gun crimes in Merseyside and Greater Manchester, including three fatal shootings.  Elsewhere there were four deaths (two in Hertfordshire, one in Cambridgeshire and one in Plymouth) involving men described in reports as gun enthusiasts.  Two committed suicide, one after allegedly killing his mother-in-law by shooting her.

  • Two men were the victims of fatal shootings in Greater Manchester, one in Merseyside and one woman was killed in Hertfordshire (the alleged perpetrator of the Hertfordshire homicide then apparently shot himself dead in the grounds of a gun club where he had been a member).  A gun enthusiast died after being shot at home in Cambridgeshire, but the circumstances are not clear: his wife was being questioned by police and has been released on bail.  Another licensed firearms holder was found dead of gunshot wounds at an address in Plymouth.

  • In Greater Manchester one man was killed and two others were injured in a triple shooting in Crumpsall and a 20-year-old died after being shot in a shooting at a takeaway in Stretford.  In another serious shooting in Stretford a victim was shot in the chest (four men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder).  Another man was shot in the chest in a parked car in Old Trafford and two youths were in a critical condition after being shot in a betting shop in Withington.

  • In Merseyside a man died after being shot dead as he was driving through Halewood.  Another man, who had earlier been shot in the stomach in Anfield, was one of three people later arrested and charged with drug offences.  Another man was shot in the leg in a 'targeted attack' in Kensington, two men were injured in a double shooting in Norris Green and a man was shot in the back as he tried to escape from a gunman in Speke.  A victim has lost the sight of one eye after being shot with an airgun in Kirkby (see below).

  • Two men were taken to hospital after being shot on a housing estate in Preston: a 20-year-old has been arrested.

  • In the West Midlands a man suffered head and stomach injuries after a shooting in Dudley and another victim was injured when he was shot in Smethwick.

  • Two teenagers were taken to hospital after a shooting in Hyson Green (Nottingham): their injuries were not life threatening.  A man was seriously injured in a shooting in Lightmore Heath (Warwickshire) (a man has been charged with attempted murder).  Another man was shot in the back in Stratford (East London).  A man had to be treated for gunshot wounds after an attack in Blantyre (Lanarkshire).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - A teenager held a gun to the heads of two women in separate incidents in Bolton in which a purse and a handbag were taken and one of the victims was sexually assaulted.

  • A teenager was robbed of his mobile phone at gunpoint in Weston-super-Mare.  Three women in the Buckhurst Hill area (Essex) were robbed in separate attacks: one teenage victim was pistol whipped.  Two women were robbed at gunpoint by two men armed with handguns in The Meadows area of Nottingham.

  • In Greater Manchester three robbers fled empty handed after holding a handgun to a takeaway worker's head in Atherton and cash, and cigarettes were stolen from a shop in Rhodes by two men brandishing a gun.  Three men, one armed with a gun, stole cigarettes from a shopkeeper in Huddersfield.  A gang of four men armed with a handgun stole cash, cigarettes and bottles of spirits from a shop in Rastrick, also in West Yorkshire.  A small amount of cash was stolen by a man armed with a shotgun from a shop in Blackpool.  Another man took 140 at gunpoint during a raid on a shop in Teddington (Middlesex).  A man pointing a handgun tried to rob an off licence in Hastings (Sussex) but fled empty handed.  Another gunman fled empty-handed after attempting to rob a newsagents in Pollok (Glasgow).  Three people were held at gunpoint when a robber stole the takings of a pub in Slough (Berkshire).

  • An air rifle was used in an attempted robbery on a store in Northampton.  A man armed with an imitation gun attempted to rob a bookmakers in Whitchurch (Cardiff) (see below).

  • A man threatened a woman driver with a handgun and tried to snatch her handbag in an incident in Linthorpe (Middlesbrough).  Armed robbers stole a car from a cab driver in Southport (Lancashire).  A teenager had his motorbike stolen at gunpoint in Droylsden (Greater Manchester).

  • In further attacks in Greater Manchester an armed gang stole a mobile phone, a handbag and keys to a car in which they escaped during a robbery at a property in Gorton, and five masked men threatened a couple with a gun in Moss Side.

  • A family was held up by a gang of armed robbers in a house in Blackheath (south east London) who stole cash.

  • Other Incidents - A man was forced into a car at gunpoint in Altrincham (Cheshire).

  • A man was confronted by two men with a gun, possibly a shotgun, on his doorstep in Southey Green (Sheffield): they ran off after he slammed the door.

  • Staff at a takeaway in Northampton were threatened by a teenager who produced what was thought to be a handgun.

  • In a possible gang-related incident a shot was fired at a house in Allenton (Derbyshire).  A firearm was discharged outside a pub in Bristol.  A man fired a shot during a dispute in a street in Northampton.  Police carried out a search in Winslow (Buckinghamshire) after reports of a firearm being discharged.

  • The back window of a car being driven by a couple close to Low Worsall in Cleveland was hit when they were shot at from another car: an airgun may have been involved (see below).

  • A man was arrested after reports that he was carrying a pistol in a pub in Swindon and another man was arrested after a report that he had entered a pub in Bagillt (Flintshire) with a firearm.

  • A man from Bispham (Lancashire) has appeared in court accused with possessing a handgun with intent to cause someone to believe violence would be used against them.  A TV presenter making a documentary in Croxteth (Merseyside) had a gun pointed at her.

  • A man has appeared in court on a charge of being in possession of a handgun on a motorway in Dumfriesshire.

  • A man is to appear in court charged with two firearms offences and four offences under the Explosive Substances Act after an explosion at a house in Eldson (Northumberland).

  • Police were called to a number of other incidents in which firearms were reported to have been seen but were not found.  These involved a train boarded by a teenager at Bourne End (Buckinghamshire), another train stopped at Berwick station in Sussex and a home in Uffculme (Devon) where a man was arrested.

  • Gun Finds and Thefts - Five people were arrested after police discovered handguns in Greenwich and Lewisham in south London.  A 16-year-old faced firearms and drugs charges following a police raid in Catford (South East London).

  • A firearm and ammunition were found by police during raids in Croxteth and Norris Green (Merseyside), and nine people were arrested and three guns seized during raids in Trafford and Eccles (Greater Manchester).

  • Police found a rifle and a number of de-activated grenades at the home of a man arrested in Monkton Heathfield (Somerset), and a man was arrested on suspicion of purchasing/possessing a firearm after police raided his home in Hemel Hempstead (Hertfordshire).

  • A Darlington man has been charged four months after police raided his home and seized a haul of replica, deactivated and components parts of military weapons and ammunition.

  • Armed police found two air rifles and two replica guns during a raid on an address in Swindon (Wiltshire).  A man was charged with firearms offences after a number of weapons including six imitation guns were found by police at a flat in Pangbourne (Berkshire).

  • An air rifle was among items stolen from an industrial estate in Wellingborough (Northamptonshire).  Replica guns were taken from a trailer in Kidderminster (Worcestershire).

  • Convictions (see also Imitation Guns and Airgun Incidents) - A number of men have been given long jail sentences (over 12 years) for their involvement in the murder in Rigside (Lanarkshire) of a man who was shot with a sawn-off shotgun.

  • Five men face life sentences after being convicted of the murder of a drug dealer whose body was found with gunshot wounds in Pattingham (Staffordshire) in 2002.

  • Three men have been convicted of the murder of a man in St Osyth (Essex) and been jailed for life.  A fourth man who gave evidence for the prosecution pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.  See May 2007 Incidents.

  • A man has been convicted of manslaughter after killing a man in his flat in Cricklewood (north London) with the victim's own air rifle (see below).

  • Five men have received long jail sentences (20 to 30 years) for their part in the 53m robbery at a depot in Tonbridge during which the manager's wife and child were kidnapped from their home in Herne Bay at gunpoint.

  • A man has been jailed for at least three years over a shooting at a carnival in Moss Side (Manchester).

  • A man who shot himself in the leg during a party in Woodgate (Leicester) but claimed he was the victim of a mystery gunman has been given a five year jail sentence.

  • A robber who held a handgun to the neck of an elderly man in St Helens was jailed for five years and seven months: he had also robbed another man on a bus.

  • An 18-year-old arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm has been banned from acting in a violent and threatening manner in a number of streets in Huyton (Merseyside).

  • A man from Rhyl (North Wales) has admitted having two rifles and ammunition without proper documentation: sentencing was adjourned.

  • Airguns - In spite of the recent introduction of measures in the Violent Crime Reduction Act to restrict the sales of airguns it is clear from the incidents and court cases reported in January that there are still too many of these guns in the hands of those who would misuse them.  Measures must be taken to reduce the number of these weapons in circulation.

  • A man has lost the sight of one eye after being shot with an airgun in Kirkby (Merseyside).  A teenager was shot with an air rifle in Calne (Wiltshire) following an apparent argument over a girl, and a 14-year-old girl was hit in the arm by an airgun sniper near Gourock (Renfrewshire).

  • A teenager was arrested after an attempted robbery on a store in Northampton in which an air rifle was fired.

  • A rifle was pointed at police officers when they called at a property in Penhill (Swindon): a number of air rifles and pellets were among weapons recovered from a nearby house.

  • A man was arrested after an air rifle was pointed at staff at Rochdale Infirmary.

  • In Scotland a property in Easterhouse (Glasgow) was searched after reports that an airgun was being fired from a window.

  • New age travellers in Highworth (Wiltshire) have reportedly been subjected to an attack with what they believe was an air rifle.  Pellets were fired at members of the public in Yeovil (Somerset): a woman was injured and a van damaged. 

  • A taxi driver was showered with glass after his cab was hit with what he believes was an air rifle pellet as he was driving between Aberfan and Troedyrhiw.  In another incident in South Wales vandals shot at a car with a pellet gun near Pencoed.  An airgun may have been used when the back window of a car being driven close to Low Worsall in Cleveland was hit.  A 19-year-old who fired an air rifle pellet at a bus in Skelmersdale has been arrested and given a final warning.

  • Damage estimated at 5000 has been caused with air rifles to new street lights in Heysham (Lancashire).  An airgun sniper may have caused damage at a shop, a house, a takeaway and the Civic Hall in Totnes (Devon).  A shop window in Heath Hayes (Cannock, Staffordshire) was damaged by airgun shots.  A house window was damaged in Peterhead (Grampian), and in two attacks in North Berwick (East Lothian) properties were targeted and a children's playroom window fired at.  A local newspaper has launched a campaign to rid the streets of Barrhead (Renfrewshire) of airguns after a number of incidents in the town.  A youth has caused residents of Gwendraeth (South Wales) to fear for their safety after he fired an airgun in a park.

  • A 17-year-old was arrested for possessing a firearm after an airgun was found in a toilet on a train at Chapeltown (Sheffield) after a clash between two gangs.

  • A woman from Yarmouth (Norfolk) sustained an injury to her nose in what police said was an accident involving an airgun.

  • Armed burglars who stole a scramble bike from a shed in Portslade (Sussex) left behind a .22 air rifle.

  • Airgun - Convictions - Homicides and domestic incidents.  Two cases in which victims had died after being shot with airguns came to a conclusion this month.  A teenager will spend 13 years in jail after killing a pensioner whom he shot in his home in Winchburgh (West Lothian).  A burglar who killed a man with his own airgun in Cricklewood (north London) has been convicted of manslaughter.

  • A man who repeatedly shot his wife with a .22 air rifle in their home in Leeds has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.  Another man who shot his wife in the shoulder at their home in Kinmel Bay (North Wales) was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence after admitting assault causing actual bodily harm.

  • Airgun - Convictions - Other incidents.  A man who threatened a student with an air pistol in York during an attempted robbery has been jailed for five years.  A 21-year-old was sentenced to 27 months after pointing an air rifle at a group of young people during a burglary in Poulton (Lancashire).  A man from Smallthorne (Staffordshire) who threatened youths with an air pistol was given a 10 month suspended jail sentence.

  • Following separate incidents in Solihull (West Midlands) one man was given an 18 month sentence after pointing an air pistol at a taxi as well as brandishing a machete and another was given a four month jail sentence after firing a pellet gun in a park where children were playing.

  • A man who terrorised his neighbour in Farnworth, near Bolton, and allegedly fired an air rifle at his house has been banned from living in his own house.

  • Imitation Guns - A teenager is having surgery in eye hospital after being shot in the face with a BB gun in Malvern: a teenager has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent.  An 18-year-old girl was shot in the face with a pellet gun during a drive-by shooting in Portobello (Edinburgh).

  • Three men were arrested following an incident at a flat in Manchester in which a woman was reported to have been hit over the head with a gun: police recovered an imitation firearm.

  • A man apparently brandishing a blank-firing pistol and threatening to shoot armed police in Paisley (Renfrewshire) was disabled with a stun gun before appearing in court in connection with the incident.

  • Two workmen were threatened with a replica gun at a property in Wigan: a man has been arrested.  A man armed with an imitation gun attempted to steal cash from a bookmaker in Whitchurch (Cardiff).

  • The Evening News in Norwich provided evidence that teenagers have been playing pretend war games (airsoft) on Mousehold Heath.

  • A group of three teenagers fired a ball-bearing gun at a bus in Bamber Bridge (Lancashire).

  • Four men were arrested by armed police in Rickmansworth (Hertfordshire), one for possession of an imitation gun and another for possession of an airgun.  Two men were arrested in Trafalgar Square in London on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm.

  • A man committed suicide after being terrorised by yobs who repeatedly fired a ball-bearing gun at his home in Pemberton (Lancashire).

  • Pupils were evacuated from a school in Easterhouse (Glasgow) after guns were found in a gym cupboard: police later confirmed that the guns were toys.

  • Pulborough Parish Council in Sussex has highlighted the potential risk of ball-bearing guns after a series of shootings in and around the village.  Children as young as four have been spotted roaming the Whitehawk estate in Brighton shooting a buses and homes with ball-bearing guns.

  • Imitation Guns - Convictions - A man involved in three carjackings in Bolton, Warrington and Accrington pleaded guilty to a number of offences including three of possession of an imitation firearm.

  • A 20-year-old who carried out a number of raids on banks in South London has been jailed for seven years: police found a ball-bearing gun in a rucksack in his home.  A man has been jailed for four years after pleading guilty to an attempted robbery in Westhoughton (Bolton) and possession of an imitation firearm.

  • A gang of teenagers who were armed with an imitation pistol when they forced their way into a property in Northaw (Hertfordshire) have been jailed for between three years seven months and five years.

  • A man who shot at a school minibus in Bradford with a BB gun has been given a two year jail sentence.  See December 2007 Incidents.

  • A man who fired a ball-bearing gun at two women pensioners in Bromsgrove (Worcestershire), hitting both of them, has been sentenced to 18 months detention.

  • A 16-year-old who threatened a security guard in Peterborough pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent.

  • A man who assaulted a fellow drinker in Durham whilst wielding a plastic BB gun was given a suspended four month term in a young offenders institution.  Another man who was drunk when he pulled out an imitation gun as he was confronted by two police officers in Dumbarton has admitted possession of a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to cause the officers to believe that unlawful violence would be used against them.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - Cats were again the frequent target of airgun snipers with incidents reported in Buckinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, South Wales, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.  Another cat was shot with a high powered gun in Cheshire.

  • A dog owner from Stourport-on-Severn (Worcestershire) was jailed for four months for causing incredible cruelty to his dog which included shooting the pet with an air rifle.

  • At a park in Wearside another swan has been found shot dead, in this case apparently with a BB gun.

FEBRUARY 2008 - SUMMARY

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There was a welcome reduction in the number of major incidents reported from London in February, but a fatal attack in Merseyside and the death of an earlier victim in Manchester indicated a worrying continuation of gun crime in the North West.  The number of incidents involving airguns and imitation guns remains at a disturbing level.  The use of airguns in domestic incidents was highlighted by two cases from Hull and North Wales.

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - There was one fatal gun attack reported in February: a man was shot in the legs and bled to death in Croxteth (Merseyside).  However, a 16-year-old shot during an attack in a betting shop in Withington, (Greater Manchester) in January also died this month.

  • Another fatal shooting occurred in a house in Trimdon (County Durham), but police were not treating the death as suspicious.

  • Two men were seriously injured in shootings in Washbrook Heath (Birmingham) and Melling (Merseyside).  In another Merseyside shooting a 16-year-old received minor injuries in an incident in Huyton.  A man was hit in the stomach in his backyard in Philadelphia (County Durham): it is believed he was shot with an air rifle (see below).

  • In Scotland a man was shot and injured in an attack in Larkfield (Renfrewshire).  Another victim was pistol whipped whilst walking in the street in Paisley.  A man was attacked with a stun gun and kicked as he walked home in Broughton (Edinburgh).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were robberies or attempted robberies involving guns at a takeaway in Rastrick (West Yorkshire), a newsagents in Hartlepool (involving an imitation gun), a jewellers in Caterham (Surrey), other shops in Chatham (Kent) and Eckington (Sheffield), banks in New Ash Green (Kent), Leatherhead (Surrey) (no weapon was seen) and Middleton (Greater Manchester), and at a travel agents in St Helens (Merseyside).  A petrol station was robbed in Alfold (Surrey).

  • A pizza delivery man was robbed of his takings at gunpoint in Bath and a milkman had money stolen at gunpoint near Royston (Hertfordshire).

  • A woman was robbed by a gunman in a street in Ryhope (County Durham).  A man was due to appear in court after two gunpoint raids in streets in Middlesbrough.

  • Two men stole a rental car and cash from a man who had come to buy a car in Luton.  A woman in Barnton (Cheshire) had her car and handbag stolen at gunpoint.  A man who was kidnapped, apparently at gunpoint, and forced to drive through Swadlincote (Derbyshire) had his car stolen.  A gang of four men attempted to hijack a woman's car at gunpoint outside a nightclub in Central London.  A taxi driver was robbed of money and mobile phones after dropping off a passenger in Nottingham.

  • Thieves who hijacked a beer lorry in Southall (west London) may have been armed with a gun.

  • Airguns were stolen from a man in Winchmore Hill (north London): he was forced to hand over the keys of his gun cabinet at gunpoint.

  • A man has terrorised two prostitutes at gunpoint after picking them up in Neepsend (Sheffield).

  • A man who allegedly held his ex-partner and her daughters at gunpoint in Chesham (Buckinghamshire) was arrested.

  • Other Incidents - Three separate shootings occurred within the space of a few hours in Moss Side, Burnage and Gorton (Greater Manchester), but no one was hurt.  A number of shots were fired in a restaurant in the centre of Birmingham: two men were arrested.

  • Two shots were discharged in a nightclub in Preston, and a gunman is believed to have fired his weapon towards the entrance of a nightclub in Finsbury (north London).

  • A police officer was threatened by a masked gunman in Partington (Greater Manchester).  Two men were arrested after a five hour stand-off in Worcester after officers were threatened with a "long barrel firearm".

  • Two men were arrested after a gun was found inside a house in Hayling Island (Hampshire).

  • A man was arrested after he threatened patients at a Birmingham doctors surgery with a gun.

  • Gun Finds, Thefts and Losses - A number of people were arrested after guns and ammunition were found during police raids in Bury, Flixton and Old Trafford (Greater Manchester).  A man was arrested on firearms charges following a weapons seizure in Mirfield (West Yorkshire).

  • Two guns were seized during raids on properties in Nottingham in an operation aimed at cracking down on the drug trade.  A Brocock ME38 revolver was found during a raid on a house in Llanrumney (South Wales) in which cannabis was also confiscated.

  • A total of 43 firearms were among 117 weapons recovered during Operation Kartel in London which resulted in 780 arrests.

  • A ball-bearing gun and an imitation gun were found during a police raid on a suspected brothel in Plymouth.

  • Three soldiers have been arrested on suspicion of stealing machine guns, grenades and ammunition from their base and selling them to criminal gangs in Scotland.

  • A handgun was among items stolen from a veterinary practice in Framlingham (Suffolk).  An entire gun cabinet containing three shotguns and cartridges were stolen from a house in Kingerby (Lincolnshire).  Airguns were stolen from a man in Winchmore Hill (north London) (see above).

  • Convictions (see also Imitation Guns and Airgun Incidents) - A man is awaiting sentence after admitting attempting to kill a man at a pub in Paisley.  Another offender has been jailed for eight years after shooting a man in the neck in Glasgow.  A man who shot a rival in the chest at close range in Ribbleton (Lancashire) was found guilty of attempted murder and locked up for at least eleven years.

  • Three people pleaded guilty to serious firearms offences after a woman was stopped by police in Preston and found to be in possession of a handgun.

  • A member of a gang that shot a security guard during an attempted robbery in Kilmarnock will be sentenced in March.

  • Two men who admitted possessing a submachine gun thrown from a car in Kirkby (Merseyside) will be sentenced in April.  A Ramsgate (Kent) man has been jailed for five years after drugs and a semi automatic machine gun were found at his home.

  • A man was given a 12 month suspended prison sentence and fined 500 after confronting builders with a loaded shotgun in Solihull (West Midlands).

  • A man admitted purchase of an uncertificated air rifle, possession of live ammunition, failure to comply with the terms of a shotgun certificate, possession of an offensive weapon and having a weapon for discharge of noxious substances after police had found illegal weaponry at his home near Harrogate (North Yorkshire).

  • Airguns - A man was shot in the stomach, probably with an air rifle in his backyard in Philadelphia (County Durham).  A teenager needed treatment in hospital after being shot in the forehead with an airgun in Kirkintilloch (East Dunbartonshire).

  • A 16-year-old has been charged with shooting and injuring boys in Kilwinning (Ayrshire) with an air rifle: he also faces a charge relating to petrol bombs.

  • One of two cousins assaulted by a gang in Gloucester said an air rifle was fired at him from a car.

  • A man was arrested after armed police responded to a woman being threatened with an air rifle in Maryport (Cumbria).

  • Teenagers opened fire with air rifles whilst a councillor was touring a housing estate in Airdrie (North Lanarkshire).

  • A man was arrested in Breightmet (Lancashire) after being seen with a handgun tucked into his trousers in the street: an air pistol was found and he has pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm.  Four teenagers were arrested in Carlisle on suspicion of possessing airguns after an air rifle barrel had been spotted pointing from a car.

  • Three teenagers were arrested after a spate of catapult and airgun attacks in Platts Common (South Yorkshire).  A gang of youths used an air rifle to smash a factory window in Renishaw (Derbyshire).  Vandals have smashed floodlights at a football ground in Blackpool, probably using an airgun.

  • A 14-year-old was arrested and an air rifle seized after an attack on a bus in Kesgrave (Suffolk).  An airgun sniper was being sought after three incidents in the Huddersfield area in which the window of a moving car and a house window were shattered.  A villager in Seven Sisters in the Dulais Valley (South Wales) has reported that air rifles have regularly been fired at his property.

  • A woman seen with a handgun, thought to be an airgun, was arrested in Stockton Heath (Warrington).  Two air rifles were seized from two men seen discharging firearms on farm land near Easington Colliery (County Durham).

  • Convictions - A Hull man who tried to execute his former wife by shooting her with an air rifle pleaded guilty to attempted murder and will be sentenced in March.  A husband from Kinmel Bay (North Wales) who pointed a loaded air rifle at his wife has been given an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

  • A man who repeatedly fired air pistol pellets at teenagers in a swing park in Cumbernauld has been given a one year jail sentence.  Another man who fired an air rifle from a flat in Renfrew has been jailed for 18 months.  Another offender was fined 300 for discharging an air rifle across a road in Aberdeen. Two teenagers were jailed (for five years and two years) for repeatedly shooting a 17-year-old girl with an air rifle in Wolverhampton.

  • A man who pointed an air rifle at a man during a burglary in Lincoln has been sent to a mental hospital for an indefinite period.  A man from New Mills (Derbyshire) who terrified a neighbour by pointing an air rifle at him has been jailed for 24 weeks after pleading guilty to a charge of harassment.

  • A 17-year-old from Orkney who fired an air pistol he found in a car which he and another teenager had stolen was locked up for seven months.

  • An 18-year-old caught with an airgun by armed police in Hebden Bridge (West Yorkshire) has been given a 12-month community order.

  • A man who had a sawn-off bolt action air rifle which fell within the terms of the Firearm Act at his home in Barrhead (Renfrewshire) has been jailed for six months.

  • Imitation Guns - A customer was hit and the owner threatened when a man, probably armed with an imitation gun, attempted to rob a newsagents in Hartlepool.

  • Two men were arrested after armed police were called to Llangollen (Denbighshire): the men were charged with theft, public order offences and one was charged with possession of an imitation gun.

  • Police seized an imitation gun from a man arrested in Bridgwater (Somerset) after reports that another man was being threatened with a handgun.

  • Armed police were called to Churchdown near Gloucester after reports of youths carrying a firearm which turned out to be a water pistol.  A man with a toy gun was arrested by armed police after being seen in the centre of Norwich.

  • Staff at a bank in Penzance (Cornwall) staged a prank in which they kidnapped their manager at gunpoint using replica guns.

  • A "13-year-old" burglar armed with a ball-bearing gun is being sought after he struck six times in Bacup and Whitworth (Lancashire).

  • Two boys, aged 11 and 13, were advised about carrying an imitation weapon in public after being spotted with a ball-bearing gun in Conisbrough (South Yorkshire).

  • Convictions - Two brothers who brandished a fake gun at a family in Hillingdon (West London) had already battered a woman to death: they were convicted of murder, aggravated burglary, wounding and possessing an imitation firearm.

  • A man who threatened workers at a Worcester farm with a ball-bearing gun and cleaver has been jailed for five years.  Another man who aimed an imitation gun at a teenager in Newmains (North Lanarkshire) has been jailed for two years.  A man has been jailed for two months after admitting culpably and recklessly discharging a BB gun in Edinburgh.

  • An offender who threatened job centre staff in Brighton with a cigarette lighter in the shape of a gun admitted possession of an imitation firearm: sentencing was deferred.

  • A man who made an imitation gun from a medical crutch handle and a silver torch was jailed for four months after he was seen with it in a street in Tonypandy.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - This month the RSPCA released figures which showed that the number of attacks with airguns, especially on cats and birds, continues to increase.  This was borne out by the incidents reported in the media in February. 

  • The toll of cats injured and maimed in airgun attacks continues to mount up. More were reported from Angus, County Durham, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire

  • Swans were attacked with airguns in the West Midlands and Somerset.  A youth caught with an airgun in South Yorkshire had shot songbirds, and a man from Margate (Kent) was fined for shooting a seagull.  A duck managed to survive after being shot three times in Maryport (Cumbria).

MARCH 2008 - SUMMARY

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The majority of the shooting incidents that resulted in fatal or serious injuries occurred in London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.  However, other types of gun incident reported in March, including most of the armed hold-ups, most airgun incidents and most of those involving imitation guns, occurred outside the main metropolitan areas of England.

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - There were a number of shooting deaths in March.  Seven, all of male victims, were being treated as murder: these occurred in Lydden (Kent), Ilford (east London), Brixton (south London) (the victim was a teenager), Tipton, Whitmore Reans and Newtown (all in the West Midlands) and Blyth (Northumberland).

  • Two men died from gunshot wounds in apparent suicides in Bremhill (Wiltshire) and Eastbourne (Sussex).

  • In London other victims were injured in shooting incidents in Harlesden (victim critically hurt by a shot to the head), Ilford (a double shooting in which the other victim was fatally wounded), Hackney (a teenage victim who was critically injured), Camberwell (the victim was also a teenager), Streatham (on a bus) and Wandsworth (at a bus stop).  In Greater Manchester victims received gun injuries in attacks in Tyldesley, Baguley and Salford (where two people were injured in a pub).   Other victims received gunshot injuries in incidents in Blyth (Northumberland) (a double shooting in which the other victim was fatally wounded), Gateacre (Liverpool), Aston (Birmingham) (another double shooting) and in Swansea.  All the victims were male except for two women victims who were injured in the double shootings in Blyth and Salford.

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - Robberies and attempted robberies on banks in which a gun was likely to have been involved occurred in Ledbury (Herefordshire), Worcester, Mildenhall (Suffolk - the robbers were armed with a stun gun) and East Horsley and Ashtead (both in Surrey - the raids may be linked).  A robbery on a bank in Brighton was stopped by an off-duty police officer.  Post offices were robbed at gunpoint in Brentwood (Essex), Sunderland and Dyffryn Rhondda (South Wales).

  • Three raids by armed men on bookmakers in Dorking, Thames Ditton and Ewell (all in Surrey) may be linked.  A bookmakers in Kitts Green (Birmingham) was robbed by two men with a handgun, and two female staff at a bookmakers in Glasgow were left shaken after another robbery.  A man from Borehamwood (Hertfordshire) has been charged in connection with a series of armed robberies on bookmakers across the South East.

  • A travel agents in Consett (County Durham) was robbed by two men with a firearm.  A garage in Melton (Suffolk) was raided by a man armed with a silver revolver, and another man tried to rob a garage in Northampton whilst armed with an imitation firearm (see below).

  • Robbery attempts were made by gunmen on shops in Hellesdon (Norfolk), Shenstone (Staffordshire), St Ann's (Nottingham - two teenagers have been charged with armed robbery and possession of an imitation firearm (see below)) and Portsmouth.

  • Delivery drivers were threatened in Ormesby (Middlesbrough) (robbers were armed with a stun gun), Preston, Scotter (Lincolnshire) (a post office driver was kidnapped) and St Mellons (Cardiff).  A taxi driver was robbed of his takings at gunpoint in Whiteley (Hampshire).

  • A hotel in St Albans (Hertfordshire) was robbed by an armed man.  Staff at a bingo hall in Feltham (west London) were held up at gunpoint.  A club steward was assaulted by a gunman during an attempted robbery in Platt Bridge (Lancashire).

  • A man was held up and robbed at gunpoint in a street in St Albans (Hertfordshire) and a teenager was robbed in a park in Portsmouth.

  • Other Incidents - A man was charged with three counts of attempted murder of police officers after shots had been fired at them in Manor House (north London)

  • An 11-year-old fired a loaded handgun at a car in Smethwick (West Midlands) after his three-year-old brother had found the gun in the family's garden.

  • Four men were arrested after a fully loaded handgun was discovered in a pub in Manchester.  Three men were arrested in Lincoln in connection with drugs and firearms offences.  A man was arrested in Carlisle on suspicion of possessing a firearm.  Another man was arrested regarding firearms and other offences in a high-security operation in Ponteland (Northumberland).

  • A man fired a gun outside a nightclub in Milton Keynes, a gun may have been discharged after a fight outside a community club in Skelmersdale (Lancashire) and a gun was fired at the back of a nightclub in Glasgow.  Shots were reported to have been fired in a street in East End Park (Leeds).  A man was charged after reports of gunshots being fired in Welwyn Garden City (Hertfordshire) and three men were arrested after an incident in Derby when a flat window was broken.  There were unconfirmed reports that a train was shot at near Marks Tey (Essex).  A firearm was set off and smashed a window in Burnley (Lancashire).

  • A driver in Yalding (Kent) had a large handgun pointed in his face by the driver of another vehicle.

  • Firearms were recovered from a house in Hamworthy (Dorset) after a woman's body was found after a fire.

  • Gun Finds and Thefts - Three firearms and a quantity of ammunition were seized in Bradford during a drug operation.  Drugs and a number of imitation guns and an air rifle were seized at a site in Neasden (north west London): two men were arrested.

  • A shotgun was found at the bottom of a canal in Bude (Cornwall) during engineering work.

  • Two shotguns and cartridges have been stolen from a house in Meols (Wirral).

  • Convictions (see also Imitation Guns and Airgun Incidents) - A man found guilty of murdering a pregnant woman in Battersea (south London) by shooting her in the head has been given a minimum sentence of 30 years in jail.

  • A coroner ruled that a man who in January 2008 shot his mother-in-law dead in Gustard Wood (Hertfordshire) and then committed suicide in Markyate (also in Hertfordshire) used a shotgun he stole from the gun club where his body was found.

  • Two men have been given minimum sentences of 16 years after a teenager was left with a bullet lodged in his brain after a shooting in Canning Town (east London).

  • Two men have been jailed for 15 and eight years after police found a number of guns at a house in Haydock (Lancashire).

  • A student caught with a loaded revolver in Hackney (east London) was jailed for 5 years.

  • A husband who attacked his wife with a stun gun in Edinburgh has pleaded guilty and been fined 660.

  • A man has been jailed for eight years and six months after armed raids on a money exchange in Glasgow and a bank in Troon (Ayrshire).

  • A man who had been armed with a silver revolver (it is still to be confirmed whether the gun was real or an imitation) when he attempted to rob a woman driver in Linthorpe (Middlesbrough) has pleaded guilty.

  • After being arrested in Childwall (Liverpool) during a targeted gun crime day last year a man has admitted drugs and firearms charges. A man from Wilburton (Cambridgeshire) is likely to receive a long jail sentence after he admitted possessing a sawn-off shotgun without a licence.  A man from Jedburgh (Scottish Borders) was jailed for three years after a handgun was found at his home.  A former police officer from Chatham (Kent) was convicted of a number of offences including possession of a firearm and has been jailed for seven years.

  • Airguns - Too many people are still being targeted by airgun snipers.  The following attacks were reported in March:

    • A man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a teenager was shot with a pellet gun in Broomhall (Sheffield)

    • A 15-year-old was hit in the eye with an airgun pellet in Calne (Wiltshire)

    • A woman was apparently shot with an airgun while walking in Whitby (North Yorkshire)

    • Two people were hit with shots from an air rifle outside a leisure centre in Newton Abbot (Devon): another victim later revealed she too had been hit at the same location in December 2007

    • A man was hit in the head by an air rifle shot fired from a passing car in Ironbridge (Shropshire)

    • A teenager was hit in the leg with an air rifle pellet in Wombourne (Staffordshire)

    • A fireman was hit in the back with an airgun pellet in Hartlepool

    • A parking warden was shot in the hand in Edinburgh

  • A postbox was closed after a postman was shot at with an airgun in Hartlepool. 

  • An 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of threats to kill after an incident in Shipham (Somerset) where an air weapon was recovered.

  • A member of the public was threatened in a street in Watford (Hertfordshire) with an air pistol.  A teenager was grabbed around the throat and threatened with what appeared to be an airgun in a park in Redditch (Worcestershire).

  • Advertising hoardings were damaged by airgun pellets in Market Harborough (Leicestershire).  Windows were broken, probably by air rifle pellets in Exmouth (Devon).  A woman in Lydiate (Lancashire) has described how a pellet from an air rifle or BB gun shattered her living room window.  A 19-year-old was arrested for firing an airgun at a neighbour's window in Ipswich.  A gunman shot out windows in three houses and a church in Alloa and Tullibody (Clackmannanshire).

  • Air rifles were seized in two separate incidents in Kent, one after men were seen carrying a weapon in woods in Tovil, the other after a man was spotted shooting birds near a children's play area in Gillingham.  A man was arrested on an airgun charge after a raid on a hostel in Inverness.

  • Convictions - An 18-year-old from Chesterton (Staffordshire) who aimed an air rifle at a 14-year-old and shot him between the eyebrows pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.  A 20-year-old who hit a pregnant woman when he fired air rifle pellets from his bedroom window in Sneinton (Nottingham) has been sentenced to four years in youth custody.  A man who admitted his part in a melee in Bacup (Lancashire) in which a girl was hit with an air pistol pellet was given a six month suspended jail sentence.

  • A man who threatened a girl he had dated briefly with an air rifle and a sword in High Green (Sheffield) was given a 12-month sentence in a young offenders' institute.  Another man has been put on two years' probation for pointing an air rifle at a woman in Strathaven (Lanarkshire).

  • A man from Dudley (West Midlands) has admitted drug offences and possessing an air rifle. 

  • Imitation Guns - Police and trading standards officers continue to try and enforce the measures in the Violent Crime Reduction Act which ban the sale of imitations guns.  Imitation guns were recovered from traders in Salford and Bolton.  A newspaper reported how a 12-year-old schoolboy was still able to buy a replica gun from a stall in the MetroCentre in Gateshead.

  • A three-year-old boy was shot in the face with a BB gun as he was walking home with his mother in Birch Green (Lancashire).

  • A man who approached people in Paddington (central London) brandishing a firearm has been charged with attempted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.

  • Two teenagers have been charged following an armed robbery in St Ann's (Nottingham) in which it appears an imitation firearm was involved.  A man was charged after attempting to rob a garage in Northampton whilst armed with an imitation gun.

  • A 17-year-old was arrested after brandishing a handgun-shaped cigarette lighter in a burger bar in Southend (Essex), and a man was charged after he brandished an imitation firearm on a bus in Ipswich.  Four suspects were arrested in Kirkdale (Liverpool) when a ball bearing gun and other weapons were found at a house after teenagers were seen with a gun.  A 15-year-old was arrested at East Grinstead (Sussex) and an imitation firearm recovered after a passenger was spotted with a gun on a train.

  • Police in Hyson Green (Nottingham) seized a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone: two men have been charged with various offences including possessing an imitation firearm.

  • A four-year-old's toy gun sparked a major armed police operation in Worle (Somerset).

  • A Dunblane man had his replica guns removed by police after a minor disturbance at his home.

  • A gun, probably a BB gun, was found in a hedge in Northampton.

  • Imitation guns were found during a police operation in Dundee flat, although no one was arrested.

  • Two ball bearing guns were discovered in Avonmouth in waste paper collected from Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

  • Convictions - A man who tried to rob a store in Splott (Cardiff) whilst armed with a BB gun has been jailed for two and a half years.  Two teenagers, members of a gang of drug dealers, were detained for three and four years for taking part in a robbery in Newsome (Huddersfield) when armed with an imitation gun.

  • An 18-year-old is waiting to be sentenced after threatening a woman in Guisborough (Cleveland) with a ball-bearing gun.  One of two teenage boys who robbed a group of friends in Queensbury (Bradford) was probably armed with a ball-bearing gun: the two have been given custodial sentences of two and a half and two years.  Two of three teenage robbers (aged 14 and 15) who used ball-bearing guns and a knife to terrorize holidaymakers and rob in Southwold (Suffolk) have been given 12-month referral orders.

  • A man who aimed an imitation firearm (an antique shotgun) at police called to a domestic incident in Coleview (Wiltshire) has admitted actual bodily harm and common assault.  In another incident involving the police, a man who pointed a ball-bearing gun at an officer's face in Darwen (Lancashire) has pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

  • A 17-year-old was given an absolute discharge after pleading guilty to offences relating to his firing a ball-bearing gun in the direction of a park in Gourock (Renfrewshire).  Another 17-year-old was ordered to be of good behaviour after being caught with a BB gun and ammunition in Greenock.

  • A man who pulled out an imitation gun in the grounds of a hospital in Dumbarton after being confronted by two police officers was placed on probation for a year and order to carry out 120 hours of community service (see January 2008 Incidents).

  • Incidents Involving Animals - The catalogue of shootings of animals and birds got even longer in March with attacks on cats being the most frequently reported.

  • Airgun injuries to cats, some of them fatal, were reported from Aberdeenshire, Gwent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Surrey, Tyneside and Wearside.

  • A show horse was shot with an airgun in his stables in Radcliffe (Lancashire).  A lamb was killed with an airgun in Clyst St Mary (Devon).

  • Attacks on swans continue to occur frequently.  An injured swan that was found in the Dulais Valley (South Wales) had air rifle pellets in its neck.  Three men have appeared in court charged with shooting and killing 29 swans whose bodies were found buried in a pit in Bedfordshire.  Geese were also the victims of air rifle attacks in Welwyn Garden City (Hertfordshire) and Moston (Greater Manchester).

  • A rare peregrine falcon found in St Lawrence (Isle of Wight) had been shot with an airgun and also had earlier shotgun wounds.  A buzzard died after being shot with a shotgun in Potcote (Northamptonshire).

APRIL 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - There were two gun deaths reported during April.  A man was shot dead in Harlesden (north west London).  The second fatal shooting, which took place at the shotgun ranges of the National Rifle Association at Bisley (Surrey), was not being treated as suspicious.

  • There were shooting incidents which resulted in injury in Oldham, Rochdale and Bolton (all in Greater Manchester).  In Birmingham victims were injured in Hockley (two people were shot including a teenage boy) and Handsworth (the victim was 16).  Other shooting incidents which caused injuries occurred in Streatham Hill (south London) (the victim was another teenage boy), Walker (Newcastle upon Tyne), Preston and Whitleigh (Plymouth).  Another man was bruised and stabbed in Sholing (Southampton) during an attack by a gang armed with a handgun.

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were reports of robberies and attempted robberies involving firearms at building societies in Cheltenham (Gloucestershire) and Moortown (West Yorkshire), banks in Sheffield (two branches involving the same man) and Cheltenham, a jewellers in Bournemouth, other shops in Cleethorpes (Humberside), Prestwich (Greater Manchester), Lowestoft (Suffolk) and Doncaster (South Yorkshire), a bookmakers in Ewell (Surrey), a takeaway in Hartlepool (County Durham) and filling stations in Renfrew (Renfrewshire) and Farnington (Kent). 

  • Security vans were held up outside stores in Four Marks (Hampshire), Ely (Cambridgeshire) and South Wootton (Norfolk) (a guard was shot with a stun gun).  A security guard was robbed of cash at a shopping centre in Shawlands (Glasgow).  Police are still examining whether a gun was used in an armed robbery on a security van guard in Poole (Dorset) - a man and a woman have been arrested.

  • A man attempted to rob a teenager of his mobile phone in West Horndon (Essex) and a student was robbed of his wallet in Trowbridge (Cardiff).  A woman was robbed of cash at gunpoint in a street in Headingley (Leeds).

  • A taxi was stolen at gunpoint from the driver in Collyhurst (Manchester).  Another taxi driver was forced to hand over cash to two armed men in Lincoln.

  • A couple were tied up at gunpoint in their home in Higher Blackley (Manchester) before the gang responsible escaped with cash and a TV.

  • Other Incidents - A machine gun was fired at a derelict former nightclub in Bury (Greater Manchester).  A number of people were arrested following an incident in which a flat window was shattered by a gunshot in South Shields (Tyneside).  A man armed with an automatic rifle fired around 25 bullets into a house in Fulbourn (Cambridgeshire).  A window was smashed with what was believed to be a firearm in east Hull - a man and a woman were arrested.

  • A gasman fled from a house in Horwich (Greater Manchester) when the homeowner came downstairs wielding what appeared to be a gun.

  • A man was arrested on suspicion of assault and firearms possession after a siege in Tylorstown (Glamorgan).  A man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm following an incident at a house in Netherley (Merseyside), and a man was arrested on suspicion of a firearms offence after an incident at a house in Wigston (Leicestershire).

  • A man was arrested for an alleged firearms incident at a caravan park at the Isle of Whithorn (Dumfries and Galloway).  Armed police searched two houses in Paignton (Devon) after reports of a man wielding a shotgun.  A man from Newton Abbot (also in Devon) has been charged with possession of a handgun following a police raid in the town.

  • Five teenagers were arrested after a firearm is believed to have been used to threaten someone in Skegness (Lincolnshire).

  • A man has been arrested after he was seen with what appeared to be a handgun at his front door in Barnsley (South Yorkshire).

  • Two men carrying guns caused police alerts: a motorcyclist on his way to a registered shoot was stopped by police in Brighton and a motorist in Marsh Baldon (Oxfordshire) caused an alert when he stood beside his broken-down car with his shotgun.

  • Gun & Ammunition Finds and Thefts - Police found an arsenal of weapons and ammunition including a blank firing pistol and an air rifle at an address in Northampton where cannabis was also discovered - a man and a woman were arrested.  An imitation gun was among items seized by police in Bolton during a major drugs operation.

  • Workers cleaning a canal in Brierley Hill (West Midlands) found a bag full of live rifle ammunition.

  • Burglars stole replica handguns, a competition air rifle and pellets from a house in Northampton.

  • Convictions (see also Imitation Gun and Airgun Incidents) - Two brothers were given sentences of over 30 years after being found guilty of the murder of a taxi driver who was shot dead in Pitsmoor (Sheffield).  Another man has been given a minimum term of nine and a half years for shooting a cafe owner in Spital Hill (Sheffield).  A man who seriously injured a student by shooting him at a concert in Loughborough (Leicestershire) has been jailed for a minimum of 14 years.  A man found guilty of attempted murder after firing a volley of shots at a car in Luton has been jailed for 18 years.

  • Three men have been jailed for kidnapping a business man in Chingford, north London, and taking him to Sheffield - the victim was beaten and repeatedly threatened with a gun.  Two of the offenders were jailed for six years, the other for ten years.

  • A man from Nottingham was jailed for 10 years for carrying a 45-calibre revolver loaded with five bullets.

  • A man who pleaded guilty to illegally keeping a number of guns at his property in Cwmanan (South Wales) has been told by the judge that he would be shown no mercy when it comes to sentencing.  A licensed gun-holder from Barrhead (Renfrewshire) is facing imprisonment for possession of ammunition in excess of the authorised amount and a number of other firearms charges - another man admitted four firearms charges.  A man has been jailed for five years after admitting being in possession of a banned weapon and ammunition which the police found at his home in Kilmarnock (Ayrshire).  An offender from Craigmillar (Edinburgh) who had a shotgun hidden in his sister's attic was sentenced to 28 months in prison.

  • Jail sentences were handed out to a number of offenders after firearms finds in Merseyside.  A woman was jailed for five years and three months for minding a stash of weapons in her home in Orrell Park.  A 17-year-old girl has been sentenced to three years after admitting hiding a machine pistol under her bed.  Four men, including a 16-year-old, were sentenced to between five years and six years and four months after police found a gun, bullets and cash at a property in Haydock.

  • Three teenagers were given suspended sentences in a young offenders' institution and unpaid work and a fourth was given 12 months' supervision after they took a rifle and an air rifle following a party in Alsagers Bank (Staffordshire) and fired the weapons.

  • A man who claimed to have a gun and threatened to shoot a woman and children in Jedburgh (Scottish Borders) has been found guilty of four charges of breach of the peace.

  • Airguns - There were more incidents in which victims were shot with air weapons:

    • Five people (including four teenagers) have been charged after members of the public were shot at in Gloucester

    • A 13-year-old sustained an injury to her leg in Skipton (North Yorkshire)

    • A woman working at a garage in Boston (Lincolnshire) was shot in the leg - two teenagers have been arrested

    • A girl was shot in the head with an air rifle, apparently inside a flat in Bakewell (Derbyshire)

    • A 16-year-old was shot in the neck with an air rifle in a road in Litherland (Merseyside)

    • An 11-year-old girl was shot with an airgun while out playing with a friend in Barnsley (South Yorkshire)

  • A train guard was threatened with an airgun at Horton in Ribblesdale (North Yorkshire) - two men have since been arrested.

  • Two ambulances have been hit with shots from airguns whilst answering emergency calls in Middlesbrough.

  • A couple were woken when one of their windows was shot twice with an air rifle in Bocking (Essex).  In two incidents in Flockton (Huddersfield) airguns were fired at the rear window of a vehicle and a house window.  A family in Portishead (Somerset) believe their kitchen window has been broken by an airgun pellet.

  • It is thought that an airgun was used to try and break windows during a robbery at an opticians in Hampstead (north London).

  • The Health and Safety Executive have been asked to investigate an incident in which an airgun pellet shattered an office window in Barnstaple (Devon).

  • Three teenagers were arrested when an air rifle and two BB guns were seized at a house in Bracknell (Berkshire) after young men with guns had been spotted at a skate park in Chavey Down.  An air rifle was recovered from a house in Swindon where four men were arrested after a firearms-related incident.

  • Would-be armed robbers are believed to have thrown away a large air rifle in Cardiff - a man and a 14-year-old boy have been arrested.

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - A man has pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful wounding after shooting a teenager in the face with an air rifle in Ribbleton (Preston).  He was given a suspended six month sentence and placed on a four month night time curfew.  An 18-year-old was put on a two year probation order for recklessly discharging an air rifle and severely injuring a child in Stonehouse (Lanarkshire).  Another offender who shot two young men with an air rifle in Maesteg (South Wales) has been given an indeterminate sentence.  A man who shot a young woman in the eye in Portland (Dorset) has been given a two year suspended sentence with a curfew.

  • A man was placed under supervision for 12 months after pleading guilty to assault: he had threatened his partner with an air rifle during an attack in a house in Wheatley Hills (Doncaster).

  • A man from Oldbury (West Midlands) who fired a powerful air rifle at his father-in-law after a drunken argument with his wife has been given a suspended 12 month jail term.

  • A man seen brandishing an air rifle in a park in Culcheth (Cheshire) has been given a 12 month community order.

  • A man from Sudbury (Suffolk) has been jailed for two years after ignoring a life-time ban on carrying a gun (police found an air rifle at his home).

  • An inquest heard how two brothers were fired at with an air pistol in New Cross (south London) shortly before one of the gang responsible plunged a knife into one of them fatally wounding the victim.

  • Imitation Guns - An 11-year-old was arrested after two primary school pupils were shot with a pellet gun in their school playground in York.

  • An armed response team was called out after two youths were seen playing with a gun in Southend (Essex) - the teenager were arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearms in a public place.

  • Police seized a ball-bearing gun after residents in Denton (Greater Manchester) reported seeing a man with a gun.  Armed police arrested two men in Brigstock (Northamptonshire) after reports that a man was brandishing a firearm during a street brawl - a starting pistol was recovered.

  • A family who have been subjected to anti-social behaviour on their estate in Corbridge (Northumberland) have had a window smashed with a ball-bearing gun.

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - A man who pointed a starting gun at his ex-girlfriend in Morley (West Yorkshire) has been jailed for five years.

  • There was further evidence of the use of imitation guns in robberies

    • A man has been jailed for five years after admitting a number of charges including possessing an imitation firearm and pointing it at two shop assistants in Inverness whilst he stole lager.

    • A teenager was armed with an imitation gun when he raided shops in the Reading area - he has been jailed for eight years.

    • A member of a gang who took part in a number of raids on jewellery shops (in the South and Midlands) has been convicted of possessing an imitation weapon during a raid in Winchester (Hampshire).

    • Two men involved in robberies in Lanarkshire were armed with replica guns - they have been given sentences of eight years and eight months and 11 years and 11 months.

    • Two men from Morecambe (Lancashire) have begun jail sentences totalling more than six years for offences which included robbing a delivery driver and trying to steal another man's wallet whilst armed with a realistic looking toy gun that one of them held to the head of two victims.

  • A man has been given a two-year community order with supervision after pleading guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence - he had twice fired a ball-bearing gun at a woman employee at a Bradford hospital.

  • A driver who pointed an imitation gun at another motorist on the M6 in Lancashire has been sentenced to 12 months in prison.

  • A security guard has been awarded for bravery after helping to apprehend a man who was seen with a replica gun at a complex in East Kilbride - the man was jailed for 30 months.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - April was a shocking month for reports of airgun attacks on cats.  Serious injuries, a number of which were fatal, resulted from incidents reported from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset (two separate attacks), Edinburgh, Gloucestershire, Kent (four separate attacks), Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire (two separate attacks), Shropshire, Somerset and South Tyneside

  • Birds remain targets of illegal shooting, and this month the Royal Society for Protection of Birds warned of the dangers to the survival of Britain's bird of prey population.  A buzzard died after a shotgun attack in Ramsey (Cambridgeshire).  Wild birds were being shot at with air rifles by men who were aiming at bird tables in a reserve in Colne (Lancashire).  Seagulls have been the target of shooters in Hastings and Bexhill in Sussex.  A coot was killed with an air weapon in Little Lever (Manchester), and a dove was shot with an air rifle in Brierley Hill (West Midlands).  Swans were also attacked with air weapons with reports from Canterbury (Kent) and Long Eaton (Derbyshire).

MAY 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - During May there were reports of four deaths from gunshot wounds.  Two of these were homicides: a 17-year-old died a few days after being shot in an attack in Camden (north London) (a 16-year-old boy has been arrested) and a newsagent in Huyton (Merseyside) was fatally shot.  A licensed shotgun owner was killed by police following a siege in Chelsea (London).  A pensioner died after being shot in the chest with a shotgun in Bourton-on-the-Water (Gloucestershire): police were not treating his death as suspicious.

  • A number of men were seriously injured in shooting incidents, and one woman was badly hurt in a shooting in an office building in the centre of Glasgow.

  • In London a man was in a critical condition after being shot in Norbury (south London) and a second teenager suffered life threatening injuries in an incident in north London, in Archway.  Another teenager was shot during a mass brawl in London Fields (east London).

  • On Merseyside male victims were injured in a second shooting incident in Huyton and in two others in Halewood and Old Swan.

  • Three men were injured in incidents in the West Midlands: one was shot in the stomach in Newtown (Birmingham), another in the leg in Bilston and a third victim was hit in the eye at a house in Woodgate Valley.

  • In Greater Manchester a man was shot in a targeted attack in Salford.  Another victim was shot three times by a gang who attacked him at his home in Newall Green

  • A man was shot in the head in a targeted attack in Caversham (Reading).  A teenager was charged with attempted murder after a man was shot in the back in Consett (County Durham).  A man was in a serious condition in hospital after being shot in Allenton (Derby).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were robberies or attempted robberies by armed men on banks in Cheltenham (the man claimed in a note that he had a gun) and Oldham (Greater Manchester), on stores in Dundee, Vange (Essex), Huddersfield (West Yorkshire) (two stores were targeted), Exeter (Devon), Gainsborough (Lincolnshire) and Pinehurst (Wiltshire) and on a garage in Gossops Green (Sussex) (three men were arrested).

  • A security guard was threatened with what appeared to be a rifle at Billing Aquadrome (Northamptonshire).

  • A robber with a sawn-off shotgun stole jewellery and a car after forcing his way into a house in Northaw (Hertfordshire).

  • A man was robbed in the street in Scarborough (North Yorkshire) by two men with a handgun.

  • Following a car-jacking in Bramley (West Yorkshire), shots were fired in Armley and armed police later laid siege to a house in Beeston but the gunman was not located.

  • Other Incidents - A man escaped uninjured after an attempted shooting with a sawn-off shotgun in Worksop (Nottinghamshire).

  • A shotgun was fired through the door of a house in Derby, an incident which may be linked to five previous shootings in the city.  Shots were fired into a nightclub in West Bromwich (West Midlands) and at a row of shops in Huyton (Merseyside).

  • A shot was fired at a car in Bilborough (Nottingham) in a targeted attack.  Shots were fired by the occupants of one vehicle at another in Leicester: two men have been charged.  A car was damaged in a shotgun attack in Salford (Greater Manchester).

  • A gun was fired at a TV screen inside a pub in Kirkby (Liverpool) and a window of a house in Sandyhills (Glasgow) was smashed when it was shot at.  An area of Stoke-on-Trent was sealed off after a weapon was fired near a house.

  • Five women were held hostage at gunpoint in Stanstead Abbots (Hertfordshire): a man was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment.  A man was threatened with a gun after he chased vandals in Ribbleton (Preston): a man has been arrested.  A woman was held up at gunpoint at a petrol station in Glazebury (Cheshire) but the offender did not make any threats or demands.

  • A man wielded a handgun in front of a female driver after a road rage incident in Stanningley (Leeds).

  • A woman was arrested after an incident in which she was allegedly seen wielding a gun and a knife in Ramsgate (Kent).  Police used rubber bullets to disarm a man seen brandishing a gun outside a supermarket in St Austell (Cornwall).

  • Armed police searched for a gunman seen in Foldcroft (Harlow, Essex) but no one was found.  Video footage captured by a resident on an estate in Epsom (Surrey) showed that one of a group of youths on motorbikes was armed.  Police in Southampton were searching a wood after a resident reported a gun shot and youths had been spotted fleeing into the wood.

  • A student arrested in the USA after trying to buy a gun with fake ID is being investigated over firearms offences and other matters in the UK.

  • A resident in Kempsey (Worcestershire) has raised concerns about clay pigeon shooting in the locality in which shots have been fired across a public footpath.

  • Gun Seizures - A number of police raids linked to drugs have resulted in the seizure of guns.

    • Four handguns were seized by police during a drugs raid on a property in Salford (Greater Manchester).

    • In West Yorkshire a ball-bearing gun was found at a house in Sowerby Bridge where police discovered a cannabis factory

    • Two stun guns were seized during a raid on a snooker club in Batley along with a haul of drugs and cash.

    • A loaded pistol was found at a house in Dagenham (east London) where police also found crack cocaine: a man has been charged with drug and firearm offences.

    • A stun gun and an air rifle were among weapons discovered during a police search for drugs at a property in Consett (County Durham).

    • Police have confiscated a self-loading pistol and two BB guns during Operation Academy, targeted at drug crime in Ipswich.

  • Convictions (see also Imitation Guns and Airgun Incidents) - A number of men were convicted for murder in trials that ended in May.

    • Two men have been jailed for a minimum of 35 years after being found guilty of murdering a man and the attempted murder of two others in a shooting in Lambhill (Glasgow)

    • A man was jailed for life for shooting dead a man in Harlesden (north west London)

    • A teenager was found guilty of killing a woman who was caught in crossfire during a shoot out in New Cross (south London)

    • A 17-year-old was found guilty of shooting dead another teenager in Brixton (south London): he has been told he will face a life sentence

    • Three men have received life sentences for shooting dead a man in Catford (south east London)

    • A man has admitted killing a man in a shooting in Cardonald (Glasgow): sentencing has been deferred

  • Two teenagers have been sentenced to seven years and five-and-a-half years for the rape of a girl in Woolwich Common (south east London): the girl was threatened with a firearm.

  • Two men who took part in an incident at a gym in Moss Side (Manchester) have been jailed for nearly five years and seven years: a victim was punched, threatened with a machine pistol and pistol whipped.  A man pleaded guilty to having a firearm with intent to cause fear after he fired seven shots from a pump action shotgun into a home in Raunds (Northamptonshire).  Three men, including two teenagers, were convicted of an attempt to scare another teenager by threatening him with a firearm in Dovecot (Liverpool).  A man has admitted firing a shotgun at a man in Hull as he opened his front door.

  • A man who was convicted in Manchester of conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life had supplied handguns (converted blank-firing weapons) to gangsters across the UK: six co-conspirators had all pleaded guilty.  Three men were jailed for a total of 19 years following their arrest during Operation Werewolf, a series of police raids in Greater Manchester targeting gun crime.  A Lithuanian was jailed for six years and eight months after admitting supplying Baikal pistols for 2500 each.

  • Three men were jailed for a total of 31 years for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life after an attack on a house in Blackburn (Lancashire).

  • A gang leader who terrorised an estate in Camberwell (south London) has been jailed for six years for possession of a loaded firearm.

  • Three men who threatened victims at gunpoint in Abbey Wood and Thamesmead (south east London) during a spate of robberies have received sentences of between five and eight years.

  • A man has been jailed for 11 years for possessing a self-loading pistol, converted to fire live ammunition which was found in a flat in Cardiff.  Another man who was brandishing a handgun in Ely (Cardiff) has been given an indeterminate jail sentence with a minimum tariff of five years.

  • Two men have pleaded guilty to stealing a woman's car at gunpoint in Accrington (Lancashire).

  • A Preston man who threatened his brother with a double-barrelled shotgun on the day of his father's funeral has had his licensed revoked and been fined 150 for threatening behaviour under the Public Order Act.

  • A man has been jailed for seven years and three months for drug offences and possessing a rifle which was stolen from a property in Kessock (Inverness-shire).

  • A man has pleaded guilty to burglary and has been jailed for two years for stealing property including three guns from a farm in Carlisle.

  • A man who pleaded guilty to keeping a number of guns illegally in Cwmanan (Mid Glamorgan), as well as admitting drugs offences has been jailed for eight years (see April 2008 Incidents).

  • A farmer from Great Stainton (County Durham) pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm without a licence but was cleared of charges relating to an alleged threat to his estranged wife.

  • Airguns - More people were targeted in airgun attacks during May:

    • An engineer was shot in the neck with an airgun whilst trying to restore power in Coleford (Gloucestershire) (a man was given a caution)

    • A victim was hospitalised after being shot with an air rifle in Rotherhithe (South London)

    • Two people were hit by airgun pellets in a drive-by shooting in Cheltenham (Gloucestershire): three people have been arrested

    • A 12-year-old boy was shot in the chest with an air rifle in Ottery St Mary (Devon) in an incident described by the police as an accident

    • A 16-year-old was shot in the face as he walked down the street in Burnley (Lancashire): the weapon was thought to be an air weapon

    • Two youths were being sought after two people were hit with airgun pellets in Norwich

  • A man was arrested after randomly firing a high-powered air rifle into crowds at Wakefield Market.  A man was arrested after an airgun was fired inside a hospital in Sunderland.

  • A man was arrested in Ivybridge (Devon) following reports of a person being threatened with a gun: an air pistol was found at the scene.  Armed police arrested a man in the Kingswood area of Bristol after receiving reports of a man wielding an air rifle.  A man was charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after threats were made to the occupants of a house in Leyland (Lancashire): an air rifle was recovered.

  • A siege in Cotgrave (Nottinghamshire) involving a man, allegedly armed with an airgun, ended when police fired rubber bullets.  Police officers arrested a man and recovered an air rifle and a knife after an incident in Netherton (West Yorkshire).  An air rifle was recovered and a man arrested in Norwich after reports that he was seen with a rifle.

  • A man fired a shot with an air pistol at a bus in Exeter: a light was shattered.  Youths firing an air rifle may have been responsible for breaking the window of a train on the Weardale Railway in County Durham.

  • Vandals have been driving around Bransgore (Hampshire) firing airgun pellets at car windows.  The rear windscreen of a woman's car was shattered in Gleadless (Sheffield), probably by an airgun pellet.

  • Criminal damage was caused in Clacton (Essex) by an airgun pellet.  A window was shattered with what is believed to have been an airgun in Cwmdare (Mid Glamorgan), the latest incident in a spate of vandalism suffered by one man.  There have been a number of incidents in the Swindon area in which properties and cars have been targeted and damaged with shots from air weapons or BB guns. The glass pane of a bus stop in Walsall was damaged by shots from an air weapon, and a window was smashed at a business park in Linthwaite (Huddersfield).

  • A youth firing an air pistol out of a window in Colchester (Essex) was "given advice" by police.

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - A man has pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding after he shot a woman in the neck with an air rifle in Bury (Greater Manchester).

  • Three 19-year-olds have all received custodial sentences after targeting victims in the centre of Brighton whilst armed with an air rifle.

  • A man has been jailed for five years and nine months after admitting firing an air rifle at a man who was mowing his lawn in Annan (Dumfriesshire).

  • A man has been fined after admitting committing a breach of the peace by firing an air rifle on an area of waste ground in Brechin (Angus).

  • A teenager was jailed for 12 weeks for stealing a mini-moto and an air rifle in Halifax (West Yorkshire).

  • Imitation Guns - It is clear from this month's incidents that despite recent legislation imitation guns are still on sale and continue to be used in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.  North Wales Police, for instance, have dealt with 83 criminal incidents involving BB guns, air weapons and replica firearms over the last 12 months.  However, the authorities do appear to be taking the issue seriously with raids on traders and prosecutions

  • A youngster was suspended from a school in Dundee after one pupil was shot in the neck and another in the hand with a pellet gun: the boy, aged 11, has been reported to the Children's panel.  A pupil was temporarily excluded from his school in Warwick for brandishing a BB gun in the playground but his mother successfully appealed against his permanent exclusion.

  • A 13-year-old was attacked with what is believed to have been a ball-bearing gun in Heckmondwike (West Yorkshire).  A ball-bearing gun was fired at a garden in Tiptree (Essex) hitting someone standing inside.

  • Two men have been charged after a robbery in Twickenham in which three people were robbed and threatened with an imitation gun and knives in Twickenham (south west London).

  • A man has been charged with 19 offences of being in possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and four counts of making threats to kill after he roamed the streets of Cippenham (Slough in Berkshire).

  • A youngster was arrested for possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after he pointed a firearm out of a car window in Stoneleigh (Warwickshire).  One man was arrested in Ashington (Northumberland) after being seen with a firearm which was found to be a blank-firing revolver and another in Romsey (Hampshire) after being found in possession of an imitation firearm in a park.

  • Vandals smashed a double glazed window with what Kenilworth police believe was a BB gun.

  • Someone was seen firing a BB gun into a fence beside a house in Colchester (Essex) and pellets were flying through the fence into a garden.

  • A man who died after his car crashed with a train was due to be sentenced for having an imitation gun in Burton-on-Trent (Staffordshire).

  • Imitation firearms were among goods seized by police and trading standards officers at a market in Polesworth (Warwickshire).  Children as young as five were given ball-bearing guns as prizes at a fair in Market Weighton (East Yorkshire).  The Daily Post was able to source BB guns in Colwyn Bay (North Wales) for 5.

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - Two teenagers who robbed a shop in Blackpool whilst armed with a BB gun now face lengthy spells in youth detention.  A man has admitted assaulting a woman and stealing 140 during a robbery at a filling station in Aberlour (Moray): he was armed with a replica pistol.

  • A man who pulled a ball-bearing gun on police in Eltham Hill (south east London) will serve at least three years in jail.

  • A man and a woman have each been jailed for eight months for a series of drive-by shootings in Suffolk in which two BB guns were used: a third defendant will be sentenced later.

  • Five youths pleaded guilty to ten BB gun shootings in Gloucester in which six people were injured: a 20-year-old male and an 18-year-old female were given 18 month community orders and three younger boys were given six-month referral orders.

  • A man who produced a BB gun in a surgery in Errol (Perthshire) has been given 18 months probation and told to complete 100 hours unpaid work.

  • A prisoner who was locked in a cell at the police station in St Asaph (Flintshire) had a ball-bearing gun in his pocket: he pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm and was jailed for seven days.

  • A disabled man has agreed to sign over his imitation gun to the police after his trial was dropped: he had been alleged to have threatened a group of teenagers in Ironville (Derbyshire).

  • A market trader who ran a stall in Walsall (West Midlands) has been sentenced to 120 hours community work after pleading guilty to possessing imitation firearms (soft air pistols) and an air weapon in public places.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - More animals have suffered as a result of shooting incidents.  As always cats and birds were the most frequent targets, but there were also incidents in which seals, two ponies and a dog were killed.

  • Cats were injured or killed in airgun attacks in Bearsden (East Dunbartonshire), Bolton (in Great Lever and Farnworth), Broadfield (Sussex), Hartlepool, Pontypridd (Glamorgan), Stackpole (Pembrokeshire) and Wigan.  A cat in Stowmarket (Suffolk) was shot with a shotgun and survived, amazingly.  An estate in Ashford (Kent) was deemed by the RSPCA to be too dangerous for cats because they have been targeted by guns although the ban has now been lifted.

  • Birds were targeted in woods in Burton (Staffordshire), birds of prey have been killed in the area around Blandford (Dorset) and five seagulls were found dead with apparent airgun injuries on the North Yorkshire coast.  Ducks and a swan have been killed on the River Stour in Fordwich (Kent) (youths with an air rifle are suspected), and two swans were found dead with air rifle wounds in Sturton-by-Stow (Lincolnshire).   A heron has been shot with an airgun in Morden (south London), and in other incidents in the London Borough of Merton and neighbouring boroughs foxes, squirrels and a crow have been shot.

  • In other reported incidents two headless seals were found near Kyle of Lochalsh (wildlife campaigners believe they had been shot) and a dog was shot dead in Colchester.  Two Shetland ponies were shot and killed in Whitchurch (Shropshire): two teenagers have been charged.

JUNE 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

There have been some indications that a grip has been taken on gun crime in Great Britain.  For the third month running the number of homicides in England and Wales was significantly less than the previous average of four to five per month, and there have been no gun homicides in Scotland since August 2007.  There were also a number of important convictions of those involved in serious gun crime.

Nevertheless, it is obvious from the incidents reported here that, despite the implementation of new measures to deal with air weapons and imitation guns in the Violent Crime Reduction Act last October those measures must be viewed as having closed the stable door too long after the horse had bolted.  Too many imitation guns and air weapons continue to be held by people who use them for crime and anti-social behaviour.  No matter what restrictions are now placed on their sale, these weapons remain in many hands which misuse them.  This month, for example, Cheshire Police reported that four out of every five times the county's police are called to a school to deal with a weapon, a gun is involved.  Last year air rifles, ball bearing guns and several "unidentified firearms" were found at 10 Cheshire schools.  Innocent victims are still being targeted by airgun snipers.  Attacks on animals continue to take place with nauseating frequency.  These matters require urgent attention.

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - There were three fatal shootings in June.  Two men were killed in deliberate attacks: a cyclist died after he was shot while riding in Kirkdale (Liverpool) (a man has been arrested), and a man died after he was shot at his sister's home in Harehills (Leeds).  The other fatality was a  police officer who died after being hit with a dummy CS gas cartridge during a training exercise in Newton Heath (Manchester).

  • Shooting incidents that resulted in injury (other than fatal attacks (*)) occurred in:

    • Edinburgh: a victim was shot outside a casino - two men have been charged with attempted murder

    • Leeds*: one victim was reported to be seriously ill after a shooting in Chapeltown, and a man was injured with a shotgun at his home in Wortley

    • Huddersfield: eleven people were arrested after a man was shot outside a nightclub

    • Lincolnshire: a man and a woman were shot with a shotgun in South Ormsby, the man receiving serious facial injuries - a man has been charged with attempted murder

    • Liverpool*: a male victim was shot in the leg in a street in Garston, and a man was shot outside his home in Kensington

    • Manchester: a man has been charged with the attempted murder of another man in Partington, and a 19-year-old has also been charged with attempted murder after a 16-year-old girl was shot in the head in Gorton

    • South London: there were two shootings, one in New Cross and one in Peckham, in which the victims sustained life-threatening injuries - two men were arrested after the Peckham shooting

    • West Midlands: a man was shot in the leg in a street in Smethwick - his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening

  • A man found wandering around fields near Pathhead (Midlothian) was found to have a gunshot wound to his leg.

  • A man was injured by flying glass after a gun was fired at a window of a house in Ardwick (Greater Manchester).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were robberies and attempted robberies by men apparently armed with guns on stores in Fareham (Hampshire), Poole (Dorset) (man armed with fake gun), Hurn (Dorset) (a blank-firing pistol was used), Stockport (Greater Manchester), and Cleckheaton (West Yorkshire), on a bookmakers in Langley (Berkshire) and at takeaways in Bolton (Greater Manchester) and Banbury (Oxfordshire).

  • An armed man stole an undisclosed quantity of cash from a building society branch in Burgess Hill (Sussex), another stole money from a cheque cashing company in Spenborough (West Yorkshire) and two men robbed a bank in Lymm (Cheshire).

  • An armed man stole cash from a petrol station in Haverhill (Suffolk).

  • A teenager pulled a handgun on a man in Banbury (Oxfordshire) and stole a mobile phone and cash.

  • Other Incidents - A gunman opened fire on a police officer in Debden (Essex) - he was arrested in Hornchurch after a high-speed chase.

  • A bullet was fired through a kitchen window at a house in Derby.  A gunman was being hunted after reports of a shot being fired at a house in Walton (Merseyside).  A shotgun was fired at a house in West Bowling (Bradford) after street gang clashes in the area.  Residents in East Craigs (Edinburgh) reported hearing gunfire.

  • A suspected gunman was on the run after an armed siege in Blackpool.  There was one arrest following an armed siege in Fawdon (Newcastle) sparked by a man brandishing a paint gun

  • A farmer in Benwick (Cambridgeshire) has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after an incident at his home.

  • A man was arrested after being seen with a gun outside a pub in Saffron Waldon (Essex).

  • A youth threw a gun into a front garden in Huyton (Merseyside) after being spotted acting suspiciously by police.

  • Armed police patrolled the Shelton area of Stoke-on-Trent after information was received that people were carrying weapons including guns.

  • Gun Thefts and Finds - Two men were arrested for possession of a firearm during a police crackdown aimed at knife crime in Dagenham (east London).  A man was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon after a shotgun and ammunition were recovered in Oldham (Greater Manchester).

  • A gun was seized by police during an operation to catch rogue motorists in Portsmouth.  Police seized five guns when they stopped a car in Hindley (Lancashire) - two men were arrested. 

  • Three men, including one aged 17, were in court in connection with drug and firearm offences after a series of police raids in East Ham (east London).  Four young men spotted by CCTV operators were arrested after drugs, an air rifle and ammunition for clay pigeon shooting were seized by police in Consett (County Durham).  Police officers also found drugs and an air rifle at a property in Leadgate (County Durham) - a man was arrested.

  • A cache of weapons was apparently found in a car in St Rollox (Glasgow)

  • Two air rifles were among items stolen from a shed in Neath (South Wales), and two guns were among items stolen during a burglary in Birchgrove (Cardiff).

  • A shotgun was discovered when a lake in Stevenage (Hertfordshire) was drained.

  • Airguns - More people were hurt, some seriously, after being targeted by airgun snipers:

    • Two people required treatment after being shot in Drumchapel (Glasgow)

    • An 18-month-old girl was shot in the leg while out with her mother in St Helens (Merseyside)

    • Two people were hit by air rifle pellets in separate incidents in Barnoldswick (Lancashire) (see Court Cases below)

    • A woman was shot in the leg in Bradley (Huddersfield) and has a pellet embedded deep in her leg

    • Another woman was shot in the head by an airgun sniper in Camden (north London)

    • A council worker in Loughborough was hospitalised after he was shot in the leg with an air rifle in a park

  • A teenager has been charged after schoolchildren saw a man holding a gun in an area close to their school - an air rifle was recovered near the scene.

  • Armed police called to a nightclub in Stowmarket (Suffolk) arrested a man and seized an air rifle.

  • Damage by airguns was caused to property in the following incidents:

    • A car was sprayed with airgun pellets in a car park at a school in Bassett (Southampton)

    • Three airgun attacks have taken place in the last month in Bishop's Cleeve (Gloucestershire)

    • Windows in the village hall in Sedbury (Gloucestershire) have been smashed with an airgun and lumps of rock

    • Shop windows have been smashed by airguns for a third time in Tettenhall (Wolverhampton) - three teenage boys have been arrested

    • In the third airgun attack on the seafront in Morecambe (Lancashire) this year the glass door of a new cafe was damaged

    • A man from Winlaton (Tyneside) described how he was shot at by two youths who caused damage to his vehicle: he then caught the culprits but was unhappy that they had only been reprimanded

    • A house in Gateshead was reported to have been peppered with airgun pellets

    • The windows of the rugby club at Guisborough (Cleveland) have been shattered by airgun pellets

    • An airgun is believed to have damaged several windows in Barry (South Wales)

  • A 90-year-old man from Teignmouth (Devon) has appeared in court on firearms charges accused of possessing a .22 air rifle without holding the required firearms certificate.

  • Imitation Guns - A 12-year-old was being questioned after an eight-year-old boy was shot five times with a BB gun in Matlock (Derbyshire).

  • The men involved in two raids on stores in Dorset were armed with imitation guns (Poole, fake gun - Hurn, a blank-firing pistol) (see above).

  • A man involved in a stand-off with armed police in Forfar (Angus) faces a number of charges including possession of an imitation gun.  A man detained under the Mental Health Act after a siege in Sefton Park (Liverpool) was in possession of a blank-firing starter pistol.

  • A man has been charged with possessing an imitation firearm after a couple were threatened with a gun in Llandudno (Conwy).  Another man faced the same charge after he had taken refuge in a house in Maidstone.

  • Two men were arrested in Stoke after being spotted in the street with a replica gun.

  • A home in Southampton was shot at with a pellet gun.  Four people have been arrested for criminal damage on buses in Calderdale (West Yorkshire) - ball-bearing guns have been fired at windscreens.  In Plymouth three windows on a moving bus were smashed, apparently with a ball-bearing gun.

  • Children in a street in Mortlake (south west London) were seen waving a gun, described as an AK47, which apparently turned out to be a toy airgun.  An 18-year-old received a police caution after a man was seen loading a handgun in Torquay (Devon) - police recovered two BB guns.

  • Plastic pellets from ball bearing guns have been blocking jets in a fountain in Clacton (Essex).

  • Incidents Involving Animals - Many cats were again targeted with airguns and ball-bearing guns.  This month there were reports of cats being seriously injured or killed in Cheshire, Dorset, County Durham, East Lothian, Lancashire, Lincolnshire (two incidents), Northumberland, Surrey, Sussex, West London and the West Midlands.

  • Other animals targeted by shooters were a goat (shot in North Wales), ten sheep (killed in Stroud, Gloucestershire), a deer (shot in Axbridge, Somerset: her fawn was saved by a walker) and a pony (injured in Stanley, County Durham).

  • Birds continue to be victims of attacks by gunmen.  This month's victims included a swan (Telford, Shropshire), various birds in the Sleaford and Ruskington area of Lincolnshire, two oyster catchers (Perth), a seagull in Torpoint (Cornwall), a buzzard (Northamptonshire) and a red kite (Berwickshire).


  • Convictions - A number of men charged with murder were convicted and/or sentenced this month:

    • A serving soldier has been found guilty of murdering a waiter in Kirkwall (Orkney) - he was aged 15 at the time: he will be sentenced later

    • A man has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years for killing a man in Cumbernauld (North Lanarkshire)

    • Two men have been found guilty of murdering a 15-year-old boy who was shot dead as he slept at his home in Peckham (south London) - they will each serve a minimum of 30 years in prison

    • The 17-year-old found guilty of murdering a woman in New Cross (south London), even though he did not fire the fatal bullet, has been jailed for at least 20 years (see May 2008 Incidents)

    • Another 17-year-old found guilty of killing a youth worker in Brixton (south London) will serve 21 years in jail (see May 2008 Incidents)

    • A man who admitted killing a man in Cardonald (Glasgow) has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years (see May 2008 Incidents)

  • A number of other men were convicted for shootings that resulted in injury to the victims:

    • A man who shot a man with a sawn-off shotgun in Blantyre (Lanarkshire) has admitted a charge of attempted murder and a firearms offence and been jailed for nine years

    • A man who wounded his victim in the face and body after shooting him with a double-barrelled 0.410 shot pistol in Mayhill (Swansea) has admitted a number of offences and been told he can expect a jail term of at least five years

    • A man will serve a minimum of five years for shooting his former boss with a sawn-off shotgun in Kirkby (Nottinghamshire): he admitted wounding with intent and possession of a firearm

    • A man was jailed for a minimum of 13 years after being convicted of the attempted murder of a man in Deptford (south London)

    • A 15-year-old who shot a man in a revenge attack in Peckham (south London) has been given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum term of six years

    • Two men have been jailed for 12 years and eight years for their involvement in a pub shooting in Willenhall (West Midlands)

  • The gunman who pleaded guilty to having a firearm with intent to cause fear after firing a shotgun into the home of his landlord in Raunds (Northamptonshire) has been sentenced to six years in prison (see May 2008 Incidents).

  • A gunman who fired a shotgun during a fight in Burslem (Staffordshire) has been jailed for five years.

  • A man already sentenced for the attempted murder of a police officer in Wolverhampton was jailed for a further five years after pleading guilty to possessing a Mauser pistol.

  • The Attorney General has lost an appeal against the leniency of a sentence given to an American who fired a gun at police in Ardwick (Manchester): he had been jailed for five years.

  • A man has admitted five charges of robbery and five of possessing a prohibited weapon: the robberies were committed in England and Wales and included raids on post offices in Cymmer and Dyffryn Afan (South Wales).

  • Two men were sentenced to six years and eight years for robbing a woman of her car at gunpoint in Accrington (Lancashire).

  • Three men have been jailed for their involvement in a disturbance at a party in Luton when a semi-automatic weapon was fired randomly on a street.

  • A teenager from Nelson (Lancashire), whose father called the police after finding bullets in his room, has been jailed for 3 years after being convicted of possessing a firearm and ammunition.  A Carlisle man was sent to prison for three years for keeping a loaded sawn-off shotgun beside his bed: he also had a blank-firing imitation pistol.

  • A man whose shotgun went off in Basildon (Essex) when it was stuffed down his trousers has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for possessing an altered firearm, and two years to run concurrently for possessing a prohibited gun.  A man from Nottingham who shot himself in the arm with a shotgun was jailed for two-and-a-half years after he pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited gun.

  • An 18-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing a shotgun which he claimed he was asked to keep for a gang in Croxteth (Liverpool).

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - Two men who fired an air rifle from a window in Dundee and shot a 14-year-old boy in the head were each given 240 hours community service.  A 17-year-old was ordered to complete 60 hours of community work after taking potshots with an air rifle from his family's home in Gloucester - four people were hit with pellets.  A man from Barnoldswick (Lancashire) has admitted two counts of assault and one of discharging a firearm within 50 feet of a highway after he shot two people while repeatedly firing an air rifle from his window (see Airguns above).

  • A man from Swansea who pointed an air rifle at a friend and hit her at a party was given a six month suspended prison sentence and ordered to complete 200 hours community work.  A man from Padiham (Lancashire) has admitted assaulting his mother and threatening to shoot her with an air rifle.

  • A 17-year-old has been fined 208 for firing pellets into a neighbour's garden in Winsford (Cheshire).

  • A man is awaiting sentence after admitting trespassing on land with a firearm and possessing a loaded air rifle in a public place, a tow path at Salterforth (Lancashire).  A man from Stonehouse (Gloucestershire) has pleaded guilty to having an air rifle with intent to cause people to fear that unlawful violence would be used against them.

  • A man was given a 12 month conditional discharge after firing an air rifle on a beach in Plymouth when he was banned for life from possessing any firearm.  Another man, from Portobello (Leeds), has been jailed for eight months for keeping firearms while banned: he was found with three air rifle and an air pistol at his home.  A market trader from Cleethorpes was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and 100 hours unpaid work for possessing firearms while banned: he was found with air rifles, air pistols, a ball bearing gun and an imitation gun.

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - A man has been jailed for five years for an attempted armed robbery at a post office in Inverkip (Inverclyde) where he threatened staff with a fake gun.

  • Another man has admitted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm, and been jailed for five-and-a-half years, for his part in a raid on a house in Seacroft (Leeds).

  • A man who was seen playing with a handgun at a tenement block in Paisley has admitted unlawful possession of a pistol (a replica of an 8 mm police pistol) and blank cartridges.

  • A teenager has been admonished after he was seen leaning out of a car and pointing a ball-bearing gun in Inverness and on the A9 to the south of the city.

JULY 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

It was widely reported this month that the latest statistics for England and Wales had shown an increase in gun crime, up by 2% over the corresponding period in 2006-07 (see Data).  However, few reports emphasised that the number of incidents which resulted in death and serious injury had actually decreased.  The incidents collected by Gun Control Network for July reflect this continuing trend.  There are still too many serious problems relating to guns but these are not always the ones depicted by the national media.

For the fourth successive month the number of homicides was less than the recent average of approximately one per week.  The number of serious injuries reported was also comparatively low.  There were, however, a significant number of armed hold-ups and assaults, at least some of which are known to have involved imitation weapons (their widespread use in armed robberies was confirmed in a number of court cases), and it seems likely that many other robberies that we report here were also carried out by men who found it easy to obtain a fake weapon.  Airguns remain a threat, with victims, both human and animal, targeted at locations around the country.

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - There were reports of three fatal shootings in July.

  • A 17-year-old died when he was shot in Spital Hill (Sheffield): a number of people have been questioned by the police about this apparent gang-related shooting.  A man was shot dead outside a nightclub in Limehouse (east London).

  • The other death, from a shotgun wound, occurred in Chapel St Leonards (Lincolnshire) and appears to have been a suicide.  At inquests held in July coroners recorded verdicts of suicide after two other men shot themselves in Upper Gornal (West Midlands) and in Orwell Park (Suffolk) earlier this year, also with shotguns.

  • Shooting incidents that resulted in injury occurred in:

    • Buckinghamshire: the victim was found with a gunshot to the stomach in Totteridge, near High Wycombe

    • Merseyside: a man was shot in a targeted attack in Kensington, and another was critically ill after being shot in Everton

    • North London: police found a teenager who had been shot in Camden Town

    • West Midlands: a man was shot in the stomach in Dudley

  • Injuries were also sustained by victims of shooting incidents involving airguns and imitation guns (see Below).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were robberies and attempted robberies by men apparently armed with guns on banks in Oxted (Surrey) and Hull, a post office in Northampton and a takeaway in Goole (East Yorkshire) (involving a teenager with an imitation firearm - see Imitation Guns below).  There were a large number of raids on betting shops reported in July - these occurred in Glasgow, Swaythling and Bassett (both in Southampton), Broadfield Barton (Sussex), Ingoldmells (Lincolnshire), Leicester and Caversham (Berkshire).

  • A security guard delivering cash to a bank in Clydebank (West Dunbartonshire) was threatened by a gunman who fled with an empty cash box, and a masked robber waved a pistol at a security guard during a robbery at a building society in Hove (Sussex).  A security guard was robbed at gunpoint at a service station in Digbeth (Birmingham).

  • A pub landlord was robbed at gunpoint in Knitsley (County Durham).

  • Taxi drivers were robbed of their takings during armed hold ups in Clayton Bank and Fishwick (both in Lancashire) and in Wythenshawe (Greater Manchester).  Two other cabbies have been robbed at gunpoint while waiting for their fares in Crawley (Sussex).  Armed robbers stole a few pounds in loose change from a bus driver in Waltham Abbey (Essex).

  • A man had his Bentley car stolen in Standish (Lancashire) after three men pointed a handgun at him.

  • A man was threatened at gunpoint by two men who stole goods from his home in Oxley (Wolverhampton).  In Barton (Devon) in another robbery at a family home a man and his sons were tied up and robbed of over 400,000 worth of stamps by gunmen armed with ball-bearing guns (see Imitation Guns below).

  • A man had a handgun held to his head when his mobile phone was stolen in Manchester.  A teenage girl was robbed of a small amount of cash by a man who threatened her with a gun at a bus stop in Newport (Gwent).

  • Five teenagers were arrested after a man was threatened with what police believed was a gun at a shopping centre in Basingstoke (Hampshire).

  • Three men were arrested after two men were kidnapped at gunpoint in Southwark (south London) and taken to a house in Kingston (south west London).

  • Other Incidents - A window at Aberdeen Town House was smashed with what appeared to be a bullet.  A single shotgun round was fired through a house window in Northampton: a man was arrested.  A teenager has appeared in court after an incident in June in which a shot was fired at a house in Winsford (Cheshire).

  • On Merseyside police cordoned off part of an estate in Norris Green after reports of a shooting, and bullets were fired at a car in Bebington.  Streets in Birmingham were sealed off after reports that shots were fired, possibly from two vehicles.

  • Following an armed siege in Consett (County Durham) a man was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill and possessing a firearm.  A man thought to be brandishing a gun in Kenton (Newcastle upon Tyne) was shot by police with a plastic bullet and stun gun.  A man who claimed to have a gun and was threatening to harm himself and others was taken into custody in Norwich.  A man arrested for firearms offences after reports of a man brandishing a firearm in Blacon (Chester) was released without charge.  Five men were arrested and then released after police were called to a firearms incident in Desborough (Northamptonshire).

  • Armed police arrived at a primary school in Dumbarton after reports of an assault involving a shotgun: no gun was found.

  • Gun Finds and Thefts - A man was arrested for allegedly being in possession of a firearm and a quantity of drugs following an incident in Berwick (Northumberland).  A shotgun, ammunition and a quantity of drugs were recovered by police from a house in Northern Moor (Manchester).

  • A man from Burnley (Lancashire) was expected to appear in court charged with two counts of battery and possession of a firearm and ammunition.

  • One man was being questioned after a gun was found at a house in Blackpool (Lancashire).  Two men were arrested on suspicion of firearms offences when a bag containing a shotgun and cartridges was pulled from a car involved in a crash in Pelaw (Tyneside).  A teenager was arrested and then released without charge after a gun was found at a house in Ribbleton (Lancashire).

  • A woman who tried to hand in a gun belonging to her late ex-husband to the police in Leyland (Lancashire) was told she had risked arrest.

  • A shotgun was stolen during a house burglary in Alfington (Devon) and an airgun was among items taken from a business park in Paddock (West Yorkshire).

  • Airguns - The following airgun incidents resulted in injury to the victims:

    • A cyclist was hit in the body with an airgun pellet in Corby (Northampton): two teenagers were arrested

    • A quad biker was hospitalised after being shot with an air rifle pellet in Rolleston (Staffordshire)

    • A 16-year-old was taken to hospital with a pellet embedded in his forehead following an incident in a pub in Eighton Banks (Tyneside)

    • A man was shot in the stomach whilst walking across a field in Chorley (Lancashire)

  • Two firearms were seized and a man arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after a man allegedly threatened youths with an air rifle in Newent (Gloucestershire).

  • An air pistol was fired during an argument at a petrol station in Batley (West Yorkshire): six people including a number of teenagers were arrested.  An airgun was among weapons recovered by police after a fight between schoolchildren at a restaurant in Crownhill (Plymouth).

  • There were airgun attacks on a tram in Rossall (Blackpool) on successive nights.  Armed police were called after reports of an air rifle being fired at a car in Gainsborough (Lincolnshire).  Armed police surrounded a property in Teignmouth (Devon) after a man was reported to be firing shots from an air rifle in the area.  Two men were charged with firearm offences after they were seen driving around Newquay (Cornwall) wielding an air pistol.

  • A house in Derby was damaged after shots, apparently from an airgun, were fired.  The village of Pewsey in Wiltshire has been suffering from a spate of criminal damage caused by pellets from an airgun or ball-bearing gun.  Elderly residents in an area of Grove (Oxfordshire) have suffered threatening behaviour including airguns being fired at windows.  A teenager has been charged after a window was damaged in Slatyford (Newcastle) allegedly with an air rifle.

  • Two air rifles have been seized by police in Moresby Parks (Cumbria) following concerns about their use and the associated risks to pet animals.

  • Imitation Guns - A man has been charged with selling realistic imitation firearms in Salford, but this necessary action by police and trading standards officers has not yet stopped those guns already in circulation from continuing to be misused.  More people were hit with BB gun pellets.

    • Another boy has required surgery after being shot with a ball-bearing gun: he was hit in the eye whilst fishing in Northampton

    • A homeowner having a party in Hatfield (South Yorkshire) was hit when ball bearings were fired at the garden: a bedroom window was also smashed

    • A 10-year-old girl was hit in the face with a BB gun pellet in Astley Bridge (Bolton): a 10-year-old boy has been cautioned

  • A man was arrested on suspicion of robbery and possessing an imitation firearm after he pulled a handgun on a teenager and a woman in a park in Long Ashton (Bristol).  A 12-year-old girl was chased by boys wielding knives and BB guns in Laindon (Essex).

  • A ball-bearing gun was discovered after three teenagers were arrested in Formby (Lancashire) for allegedly threatening a train inspector with a gun.  Two 17-year-olds in Chorley (Lancashire) were being questioned by police after separate incidents involving BB guns: in one a gun was held to the head of another teenager.

  • A teenager was charged with possession of an imitation gun with intent to cause fear of violence, possession of an imitation firearm in a public place and attempted robbery after an incident in Goole (East Yorkshire).  Two men who tied up a man and his two sons and stole over 400,000 worth of stamps from their home in Barton (Devon) were probably armed with BB guns (see Above).

  • Part of Woking (Surrey) was closed off by police after shots had been fired: a ball bearing gun and pellets were found.  A street in Exeter was also closed off following reports of a ball-bearing gun being aimed at seagulls: a man was arrested.

  • A teenager spotted carrying a machine gun in Creswell (Sheffield) was found to have a ball-bearing gun which was destroyed.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - Gun attacks on animals continued unabated in July, apparently unaffected by recent legislation on sales of airguns.  The gratuitous cruelty of these incidents is beyond belief.  More must be done to take the guns away from those who are misusing them to cause such harm.

  • One of two horses killed on a farm in South Wales had been hit by airgun pellets.  Another horse was lucky to be alive after being shot with an airgun in Whitehill Mains (East Lothian).

  • There were airgun attacks on cats in Cardiff, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Devon (three cats shot in the same area of Honiton and one in Axminster), Essex, Greater Manchester, Lincolnshire (three incidents reported including two in Horncastle), Moray, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, South Wales and Suffolk.

  • A dog was shot twice whilst playing in a back garden in Highgate (North London).  A rabbit was shot dead in the back garden of a house in Rushden (Northamptonshire) - the perpetrator went into the garden through a side gate and shot the pet at close range in the head.

  • Herring gulls have been shot with an airgun in Newquay (Cornwall) and a baby seagull was killed with an air weapon in Lowestoft (Suffolk).

  • Swans have recently been shot with airguns in Peterborough, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire.  A pair of swans were shot in Iver (Buckinghamshire): the male died and the female has had to have a wing amputated.

  • Ball-bearing gun pellets were found near the scene of an attack on a donkey sanctuary in Scarborough (North Yorkshire).


  • Convictions - More men were convicted of serious offences involving firearms:

    • A man will serve a minimum of thirty years in prison for murdering a man at a party in Carshalton (Surrey)

    • A man, who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a man who was shot in a car in Halewood (Merseyside), has been jailed for twelve and a half years

    • A man who shot a nightclub doorman in Bristol has been sentenced to a minimum of three years in jail

    • A man who shot the brother of a landlord after he had been thrown out of his pub in Kensington (Liverpool) has been jailed for 12 years

    • A man who shot a fellow clubber with a mini four-inch keyring gun in the City of London was found guilty of unlawful wounding and two firearms offences

  • Two men were cleared of murder and manslaughter but one admitted holding the gun which killed a man in Woolwich (south east London).

  • A drug dealer from Radford (Nottingham) faces a long prison term after he admitted two counts of possessing firearms and drug offences - he was reaching for a loaded handgun when he was arrested.  Two men have been sentenced to 10 years and 8 years for drugs and firearms offences following a police raid in Wigan (Greater Manchester): they had previously been sentenced for drug offences in Tayside.

  • A man who fired a sawn-off shotgun through a neighbour's window in Rushden (Northamptonshire) has been given an indeterminate jail sentence.  Another from Welwyn Garden City (Hertfordshire) has been given a five year jail sentence for possessing a sawn-off shotgun: the weapon was fired in a field behind his home.  A man who threatened youths with a sawn-off shotgun in Luton (Bedfordshire) has been warned that the minimum jail sentence for having a prohibited firearm is five years.  A man has admitted a string of firearms offences after police seized a shotgun and rounds of ammunition following raids in Bury (Greater Manchester).

  • An offender has pleaded guilty to taking a revolver with cartridges to his mother's house in Childwall (Merseyside) and attacking another man.

  • A man has admitted holding up a pub in East Kilbride whilst armed with a Taser gun.  Another faces a lengthy jail sentence after pleading guilty to possessing a stun gun when he was found following a domestic incident in Wellingborough (Northamptonshire).

  • An Army quartermaster has been found guilty of seven offences after a cache of illegal firearms was found at his parents' home in Dunoon (Argyll) - he faces a heavy jail term.

  • An air passenger has pleaded guilty to putting cabin crew and passengers in a state of fear and alarm after claiming he had a gun on a flight from Edinburgh Airport.

  • A father who escaped trial after his daughter retracted her statement had apparently allowed a loaded shotgun to go off in his home in Mickle Trafford (Cheshire) after he had argued with her.

  • A man who was caught with a prohibited pistol at his home in Kirkby Stephen (Cumbria) has been given a suspended jail sentence and order to do 200 hours unpaid work.

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - One of five men who pleaded guilty to common assault after an incident in Plymouth was given two 16 month terms at a young offenders institution after returning with an airgun in an attempt to terrify the victim into dropping charges: he shot at the house repeatedly.

  • A man who threatened to kill someone with an air rifle in Bathgate (West Lothian) has been given a supervised attendance order after pleading guilty to a breach of the peace.

  • A man who held an air weapon to his head after he had been ejected from a hotel in Dunster (Somerset) has pleaded guilty to carrying an air weapon in public.

  • A teenager was given 80 hours community service after pleading guilty to brandishing an air rifle in a street in Cheltenham (Gloucestershire).

  • A 90-year-old from Shandon (Devon) was fined after admitting possessing a .22 air rifle without the required firearms certificate

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - A number of offenders were convicted for robberies involving imitation firearms:

    • A man has been jailed for three years after trying to rob a Glasgow post office whilst armed with an imitation firearm

    • Another man was sentenced to two years for the attempted robbery of a store in Plains (Lanarkshire): he was armed with a knife, a noose and a fake gun

    • A man has admitted carrying out a robbery on a bookmakers in Glenrothes (Fife) whilst armed with an imitation firearm

    • Three men have admitted conspiracy to steal and possessing an imitation gun following a staged armed robbery on a supermarket in Malmesbury (Wiltshire)

    • An ex-soldier was jailed for three-and-a-half years after threatening a petrol station cashier in Northampton with a ball-bearing gun

    • Two men, aged 19 and 20, have been jailed for four-and-a-half and two-and-a-half years respectively after threatening staff at a shop in Willenhall (Coventry) with a knife and an imitation gun

  • Two men were given suspended custodial sentences and 120 hours community service after firing a ball-bearing gun at members of the public in Worthing (Sussex): a 12-year-old boy was nearly blinded when he was hit.

  • A man who was arrested at Blackpool Airport attempting to bring a replica pistol and blank-firing ammunition into the country from Spain has been given a suspended 28 day prison sentence.

  • A man is awaiting sentence after admitting taking an imitation firearm back to a nightclub in Exmouth (Devon) after he had been asked to leave

  • A protester has admitted having an imitation firearm near 10 Downing Street (London) and at a service station on the M1 motorway: he will be sentenced later.

  • A man from Shilbottle (Northumberland) was given a 12-month community order after he was caught with an imitation firearm on the A1.

  • A court heard that a paedophile from Billingham (Teesside) convicted of the rape and sexual assault of a young girl engaged children to play with BB guns.

AUGUST 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

The incidents recorded in August have provided a stark reminder that generalisations about gun crime being the preserve of "criminals with illegally-held weapons" do not provide an accurate description of all the problems created by guns in Britain.  Gang- and drug-related shootings continue to be very serious issues, and there were worrying spates of shootings in Birmingham and Liverpool, although Merseyside police demonstrated swift action with the arrest of 31 people for gun-related offences in August.  However, it is some of the other incidents that GCN wishes to highlight in order to dispel the view that gun users can be divided into two mutually-exclusive categories, those who use illegal weapons and are responsible for all firearms offences and those who obtain their guns legally and whose weapons will never be used inappropriately.

  • A father used his airgun, presumably bought legally, for target shooting in his back garden in front of his young children, and left the gun briefly.  The result was the death of his 18-month-old son, apparently shot by his 5-year-old daughter who had picked up the gun.

There were many other incidents in August in which victims were hit with pellets fired from air weapons, and there can be little doubt that many of these weapons would have been obtained legally, making it all too easy for them to be used in a dangerous and irresponsible manner.

  • A husband and father, the owner of a legally-held rifle and regular attendee at the local clay pigeon shooting club, is believed by the police to have been responsible for shooting dead his wife and daughter before killing himself.

The majority of women fatally shot in Britain in recent years have known the gunman well, while the man responsible has had easy access to the murder weapon, often through his or a friend's legal ownership of the gun.  In many instances the perpetrator has then shot himself.  This would appear to so in this case.

  • A firearms dealer, the chair of the Registered Firearms Dealers Committee, sold ninety replica Mac-10 machine pistols to a man who was able to convert them into lethal weapons.    The buyer who set up a gun factory, has now been convicted and given a life sentence, but the guns he was able to convert have already been linked to at least 50 shootings, eight of which resulted in fatalities.

This case has highlighted a very grey area between legal gun dealing and the arming of criminals.

  • A gamekeeper, who died in custody, had been jailed for two years for keeping prohibited weapons at his home.

We often hear that those given licences for firearms and shotguns can always be trusted to be law-abiding, yet this is the latest of a number of cases in which gun owners have broken the rules to accumulate weaponry and ammunition for which they have no permission.  A casual attitude towards licensing laws can easily lead to guns falling into inappropriate hands.

  • A clay pigeon shooter who has competed for Great Britain was convicted of possessing a shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence after he fired the weapon to scare a driver who had inadvertently called at his property: he was fined 2500 and has been told he risks having his shotgun licence revoked.

Whilst the incident was not as serious as those listed above it demonstrates further how some owners of licensed guns choose to use them dangerously, putting innocent members of the public at risk.

  • There was a long list of incidents and court cases involving the misuse of airguns and imitation guns by youths and children, one as young as eight who damaged the sight of a young girl.

Although laws controlling the sale of these guns have recently been tightened and it is also an offence to carry them in public, it is likely that many of those involved in these incidents were purchased legally by parents who have subsequently failed to take responsibility for their children's use of the weapons.

We highlight these incidents because it is GCN's view that too many firearms policies are still framed by the view that so long as a gun is traded and owned legally it will always be far removed from the tragic and frightening consequences of gun misuse.  Clearly that is not so, and appropriate policies will only be fully implemented when the full spectrum of gun use and abuse is taken into account.


  • Gun Deaths - There were fourteen apparent fatalities from gunshot wounds in August.

  • Police believe that a man shot and killed his wife and daughter before killing himself with a legally-owned rifle at their house in Shropshire.  The circumstances are still being investigated.

  • An 18-month-old boy from Washwood Heath (Birmingham) has died a few days after being shot in the head with his father's airgun, apparently by his sister.

  • There were seven other fatal gun attacks reported during August:

    • Birmingham - a man was gunned down in the Newtown area in an apparent gang-related murder, and a man shot in Ladywood Middleway died four weeks after the incident

    • Bradford - a man was shot dead outside a nightclub - a man has been charged with murder

    • Hull - a drug dealer was shot and killed at a flat in the east of the city

    • London - two innocent bystanders were the victims of fatal shootings, one outside a pub in Forest Gate (east London), the other at a supermarket in Walworth (south London) (the victim was aged 18, and a 19-year-old has been charged with murder): another man was the victim of a second fatal shooting in Walworth

  • There were three shooting deaths in which there were apparently no suspicious circumstances:

    • A farmer was found shot dead at his home in Hutton Buscel (north Yorkshire)

    • Another man was found dead with shotgun wounds in his car near Ellastone (Staffordshire)

    • A man was found dead with shotgun wounds in Stoke Hill (Wiltshire)

  • Gun Injuries - Other shooting incidents that resulted in injury occurred in:

    • Birmingham - a man was shot in the Handsworth area, two people (a man and a woman) were injured in a shooting in Digbeth and a man was hit in the arm in Small Heath

    • Bradford - a man was in hospital with serious injuries after a shooting in Thornbury

    • Bristol - an 18-year-old was dumped outside a Bristol hospital with suspected gunshot wounds

    • London - a security guard was injured during an attempted robbery on a cash van in Enfield (north London), a man was shot in the face in Beckton (east London) and a man needed hospital treatment after being shot in Peckham (south-east London)

    • Merseyside - there were shootings, some of them reported to have been targeted, in Knowsley, Dingle (the victim was a woman), Stockbridge Village, Kirkby and Toxteth

  • In addition to the above there were a significant number of incidents in which victims were wounded by shots from Airguns and Imitations Guns (see below).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were robberies and attempted robberies by men apparently armed with guns on stores in Trafford (Greater Manchester) (three shops were targeted by the same lone gunman), Northampton, Leyland (Lancashire), Swalwell (Tyneside), Port Talbot (South Wales), Herne Bay (Kent), Birkenhead (an imitation gun was involved and two men and a teenage boy have been arrested) and Chantry (Suffolk).  Three men raided a jewellers in Newcastle upon Tyne.  A 10-year-old attempted to rob an opticians in Thornbury (Bristol) whilst armed with a BB gun (see below).

  • Two banks in Sussex were raided (in Henfield and Seaford - a man and a woman were arrested after the latter robbery) and a man stole a cash box from a bank in Blackpool. A security guard was injured during an attempted robbery in Enfield (north London) (see above). 

  • More betting shops were targeted in August, four in Glasgow (two separate robberies in the west end, one on the south side and one in Govanhill) as well as premises in Oldham (where a pensioner was hit with the butt of a gun), York and Gateshead.

  • A filling station manager was robbed at gunpoint in Southampton.

  • A ball-bearing gun was fired during an attempted robbery on a takeaway in Motherwell (Lanarkshire) (see below).

  • Two people in a flat in Neath (South Wales) were threatened with a gun and a knife during a robbery.  A landlord and a barwoman were held up at gunpoint as two men stole around 3,000 from a pub in Torquay (Devon).

  • A taxi driver was robbed of around 180 by three youths who attacked him in Preston.  A man was robbed of over 10,000 in burger van takings as he parked outside his home in Rumney (Cardiff).

  • A couple in a car park in Moreton (The Wirral) were forced to hand over a wallet and a handbag at gunpoint.  Another couple walking in a park in Derby were robbed by a man apparently armed with a handgun. 

  • Other Incidents - On Merseyside, shots were fired through the windows of a home in Huyton and a ground-floor flat in Norris Green, and a house in Croxteth Park was damaged in a shooting incident.  A shot was fired through a kitchen window of a house in Radford (Nottingham).

  • A number of vehicles travelling along the A47 near Norwich were hit by a gunman.  A man was arrested in Rugby after the windows of a parked car in Rugby (Warwickshire) were smashed by a shotgun.

  • A pedestrian had a long-barrelled firearm pointed at him by a woman passenger after he was in collision with a car in Middleton (West Yorkshire).

  • A man posing as a customer in a car accessory shop in Halliwell (Lancashire) pulled the trigger of a gun but no bullets were fired.

  • Police sealed off an area around a block of flats in Milton (Glasgow) after two men were seen with firearms - no shots were fired.  Armed police surrounded a flat in Fishponds (Bristol) after reports that a gunman had sexually assaulted a woman - a man was arrested.

  • Gun Finds and Thefts - A 13-year-old was arrested after a 9mm Baikal pistol, two silencers and a bag of 9mm cartridges were found in a house in New Cross (south London).

  • A man was charged with firearms offences after 300 bullets were found in a bag at a house in Digmoor (Lancashire).  A cache of bullets for use in handguns was found in cars in a car park in Hunts Cross (Merseyside) where the ammunition was to be sold.  Six guns were recovered by police from a car in central Manchester after a rifle was spotted by CCTV.

  • A number of firearms and hand grenades were seized when police called at a house in St Agnes (Cornwall).

  • An SA80 rifle found at a house in Alvechurch (Worcestershire), where the body of a murder victim was discovered, was one of two automatic rifles that went missing from Army barracks in London.

  • Firearms were recovered in a number of police raids in which drugs were also found:

    • In Greater Manchester a firearm, rounds of ammunition and a large quantity of drugs were discovered at a home in Kirkholt (a man has been charged), and six guns were seized together with ammunition, a crossbow and drugs in Longsight

    • Two men have been arrested, one in Arbroath and the other in Liverpool, by police investigating the smuggling of firearms and drugs in Lancashire

    • In Honley (West Yorkshire) three people, including two teenagers, were arrested after police found a sawn-off shotgun, ammunition and cocaine

  • A slaughtering pistol was stolen during a burglary in Sutton Weaver (Cheshire).

  • Airguns - The tragic death of an 18-month-old boy, shot in the garden of his house in Washwood Heath area of Birmingham, was yet another reminder that air weapons can be lethal.  Although the outcomes were not as tragic, there were many other incidents in August with potentially serious consequences in which victims were shot with airguns:

    • Two boys were shot in Wisbech (Cambridgeshire) in separate incidents: a 15-year-old was shot in the top of his leg whilst he was out walking, and a 9-year-old was hit in the arm after climbing a tree in his own back garden

    • A nine-year-old boy was shot in the eye with an airgun in Bridgeton (Glasgow)

    • A woman underwent surgery to her hand after being shot with an airgun in Sighthill (Glasgow)

    • A boy, aged 10, was shot in the head whilst he was playing in a field in St Helens (Merseyside)

    • A woman from Lowestoft (Suffolk) was struck in the head with an airgun pellet

    • A man from Broseley (Shropshire) was hit by a pellet in his garden

    • A woman was shot in the back in a shopping street in Llandrindod Wells (Powys) - a man was being held by police

    • A man had to undergo treatment in hospital after being hit by an airgun pellet in Middleton (Leeds)

    • A cyclist was hit in the face with an airgun pellet in Eaton (Norfolk) and required hospital treatment - four people have been arrested

    • A garage worker in Houghton (County Durham) was injured by a drive-by gunman armed with an air rifle

    • A man was injured on the hand after an airgun was fired at a group outside a church in Braunstone (Leicester)

  • A carer and the pensioner she looks after have had their home in Canvey (Essex) attacked for a third time - a kitchen window was damaged, probably by an airgun or BB gun.  A minibus used by elderly and disabled people has been damaged in an air rifle attack in New Elgin (Moray).  A car and homes were shot at with an air rifle in Clitheroe (Lancashire) and an airgun or pellet gun was fired at windows of a home in Abington (Northampton).  A hairdressers in Scarborough (North Yorkshire) is thought to have been targeted by yobs firing air rifles.

  • A bus travelling on the Trowse by-pass (Norfolk) may have been shot at with an airgun.

  • Two youths suspected of firing an airgun from a car being driven around Minsterley and Pontesbury (Shropshire) were arrested on firearms offences after being involved in a three-car smash.

  • Armed youths carrying an air rifle were spotted walking along a disused railway line near Market Harborough (Leicestershire).

  • A community council in Fairlie (Ayrshire) heard that there had been one charge of reckless conduct with a firearm in the village involving an airgun offence. 

  • Imitation Guns - This month's incidents showed that very young children armed with imitation guns have been involved in serious gun incidents which happened in a month when reports were released about the worrying number of imitation guns found by police called to incidents in schools in both Greater Manchester and Islington (North London).

  • An eight-year-old boy was being questioned by police after an 11-year-old girl was shot with a ball-bearing gun in Blyth (Northumberland) - she will need surgery and was lucky not to be permanently blinded.  A 10-year-old with a BB gun was arrested after he demanded money in an opticians in Thornbury (Bristol) - he was given a reprimand.

  • A ball-bearing gun was fired during an attempted robbery on a takeaway in Motherwell (Lanarkshire).  One of three people arrested on suspicion of robbery at a shop in Birkenhead (Wirral) was armed with an imitation handgun. 

  • Two women were threatened with a gun, reported by the police to have been a BB gun, by two men who burst into a house in Seaham (County Durham).

  • Two men have been charged with possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, one after someone was thought to be carrying a handgun in Shirley (Southampton) and the other after an incident in the centre of Colchester (Essex).  A ball-bearing gun was pointed at police officers during an incident in Barnstaple (Devon).

  • More than 70 ball-bearing shots were fired at a business premises in West Reading (Berkshire).

  • Police recovered BB guns from the home of two teenagers in Derby who posted images of themselves with the weapons on the internet.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - Nothing seems to be stemming the tide of brutal airgun attacks on cats reported each month from across the country.  In August there were reports from Bristol (two incidents in four months in Kingswood), Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall (six incidents reported in five months in St Austell), Devon, Flintshire, Herefordshire, Lancashire (three separate incidents, two in St Michael's), Lincolnshire, Sussex and Worcestershire (two separate incidents)).

  • Four dogs and three horses were all shot dead at the house in Maesbrook (Shropshire) where three human bodes have been found.  Dogs were also shot in Allensmore (Herefordshire) (the dog had to be put to sleep after being shot with an airgun), St Michael's (Lancashire) (injured with an airgun pellet) and Navestock (Essex) (two dogs killed with hollow tipped bullets used for hunting).  Eight horses were shot with air rifles and slashed in an attack on an equine centre in Lincolnshire.  A ferret found in Worcester had suffered an airgun wound.

  • A court heard how a gamekeeper from Shropshire was shooting buzzards with a shotgun to protect the pheasants he was looking after: he pleaded guilty nine charges involving the killing of buzzards and badgers.


  • Convictions - A number of murder cases were concluded during August:

    • A teenager was jailed for life for murdering a student in Stockwell (south London) with a converted Mac 10 sub-machine gun

    • Two brothers, small time drug dealers, were convicted of the murder of three men and the attempted murder of two women following a multiple shooting in Bishop's Stortford

    • A man who killed a fellow drug dealer with a shotgun on Chislehurst Common, south-east London, has been found guilty of murder

    • A man has pleaded guilty to the murder of a man and the attempted murder of a woman in a double shooting in Blyth (Northumberland)

    • Barry George was cleared of the fatal shooting in 1999 of TV presenter Jill Dando: he had spent eight years in prison

  • Two men have been jailed for eight and seven years for firearms offences after a police officer was shot in Peckham (south London).

  • After two trials eight men have been jailed for supplying guns that were used in crimes.  One man was jailed for a minimum of 11 years after being found guilty of setting up a gun factory at Three Mile Cross (Berkshire) to convert replica Mac 10 machine pistols to fire live ammunition: the guns have been involved in at least fifty shooting incidents including eight murders.  Following the conclusion of another case seven men were jailed for up to 20 years for their parts in a scheme to import and convert blank-firing Baikal self-loading gas handguns which were then sold as past of "assassin kits": the weapons were used in crimes in Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford and Scotland.

  • Three teenagers face jail sentences after an incident in which a shotgun was fired in a busy Leicester street during the afternoon.  A man from Lincoln has admitted firing a loaded shotgun in the air in view of his neighbours and will be sentenced later.

  • Two men who conducted a seven month "reign of terror" in and around Cambridge have been found guilty of a catalogue of robbery, conspiracy and firearms charges: they held up a number of shops and post offices.

  • An 18-year-old has been sentenced to six years' detention after admitting possessing a shotgun with intent: he pointed the loaded weapon at police when they arrested him at an address in Handsworth (Birmingham).  A 17-year-old found with a loaded pistol tucked into his trousers in Derby has been sentenced to four years.  A man has been jailed for seven years after a machine pistol and ammunition were discovered in his bag in a hotel room in Almondsbury near Bristol.

  • A gamekeeper was jailed for two years for keeping prohibited weapons at his home in Alkmonton (Derbyshire): he died in custody shortly afterwards.

  • A member of a gang of four who kidnapped a car salesman from Darlington and stole a car, threatening the victim with a Taser and a gun, has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years.

  • A man on weekend leave from prison robbed a petrol station in Hawick, telling the cashier that he had a gun - he has admitted the offence.

  • A clay pigeon shooter who has competed for Great Britain was convicted of possessing a shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence after he fired the weapon to scare a drive in Lighthorne (Warwickshire): he was fined 2500 and has been told he risks having his shotgun licence revoked.

  • A woman has been given a conditional discharge for 12 months after failing to comply with a shotgun certificate condition after moving to Abbotskerswell (Devon).

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - One of two brothers jailed after attacking a man in Blantyre (Lanarkshire) fired an air rifle at their victim: he has been jailed for two years and three months.

  • A teenager who admitted shooting a 10-year-old boy with an air pistol in Walney (Cumbria) has been given a 12-month referral order after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of an air rifle.

  • A man who shot and injured a Doncaster teenager with a gas-powered airgun has had his sentence reduced from nine months to four, angering the victim's mother

  • A man who injured a friend when he fired an air rifle down the stairs of his house in Chippenham (Wiltshire) was given a 24 week suspended sentence - the victim has a pellet lodged in his skin

  • A man who was heard threatening to kill someone after an argument over drugs outside a nightclub in Pontypridd (South Wales) admitted possession of a loaded air weapon and a drugs offence and was jailed for two years.

  • Two 16-year-olds who took part in a raid at a house in Ipswich during which an air pistol was fired have been given detention and training orders - another teenager received one earlier in the year.

  • A former Tory councillor, who threatened and intimidated a woman from Ullesthorpe (Leicestershire) who wanted to stop seeing him, has been given a 12-month suspended prison sentence: he held up an airgun and told her he would "deck her if she was a man".  A man who threatened a couple in a street in Peasedown St John (Somerset) whilst armed with an air rifle has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

  • A man was jailed for three months for carrying a potentially lethal air pistol in public in Ferndale (South Wales).

  • A father from Egremont (Cumbria) who bought an air pistol for his 12-year-old son has been fined 100 as he was banned from owning a firearm for life but was technically the gun's owner.

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - A teenager has been sentenced to four months in a youth detention centre after pleading guilty to a number of charges - he fired a BB gun at a female member of staff at a supermarket in Biggleswade (Bedfordshire).

  • A man who threatened two members of staff at a Grimsby bookmakers with an imitation handgun has been jailed for six years and nine months (he also admitted breaching a suspended prison sentence).

  • A man has been given a six-and-a-half year sentence after admitting breaking into a house in Moortown (Leeds) armed with a fake gun (a cigarette lighter shaped like a gun) and stealing cash, knives and jewellery: the victims were tied up and one was stabbed.

  • A man from Crick (Northamptonshire) who threatened his partner's daughter and her friends with a blank-firing pistol has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

  • A man who pointed a toy gun out of a car window on the outskirts of Perth has been fined 500.

SEPTEMBER 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

  • Airguns

At the beginning of the month eighteen-month-old Rashid Ullah died from the injuries he received in August when his sister picked up an airgun being used in their garden by their father and fired it at his head.  In its response to a recent BBC programme which highlighted concerns about the seriousness of airgun incidents and the lack of responsibility shown by owners, the Home Office was as dismissive as ever of a registration scheme, claiming it would be "costly and bureaucratic".  Home Officer Ministers point to the measures introduced in the Violent Crime Reduction Act, but judging by the incidents reported in September the measures have done little to protect the public from those who arm themselves with airguns and target people, pets and property.  This is not surprising since the measures did nothing to get these weapons out of the hands of those who already have them and misuse them or to ensure the guns are stored safely so they cannot be picked up and used at random.  The Airguns, Incidents Involving Animals and Airgun (Court Cases) sections below reveal the seriousness of many of the incidents.  These are not pranks committed with boys' toys, these are acts which injure, intimidate and threaten.   How much more evidence is required to demonstrate that airguns can be just as destructive to peoples' lives, wellbeing and safety as any other firearm?  There is no justification for treating them any differently and it is time for these guns to be registered.  This wouldn't harm those who have a genuine reason for owning airguns, but it would begin to get them away from those whose actions contribute half of all firearm offences and cause approximately a quarter of all firearms injuries.

Joan Walley MP has an early day motion in Parliament calling for an airgun registration scheme which holds owners responsible for what happens to their guns.  We urge all MPs concerned about the dozens of airgun incidents we report each month to sign the motion and kick the Home Office out of its complacency.

  • Homicides

There was only one fatal shooting attack reported in September and, with the exception of the higher number of gun homicides in August, there have been two or less in each month since April, significantly lower than the recent average for England and Wales.  There have been no gun homicides in Scotland for more than a year, the last occurring in August 2007.

  • Shotguns

GCN has noted an increased number of incidents involving shotguns this month and these are highlighted.  Many of those convicted in the court cases reported during September had shotguns.  We are uncertain whether this indicates an increased use of shotguns in crime but we will be monitoring the situation.

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - One man died as a result of a gun attack in September - his wife was also seriously injured in the double shooting in Porth Kea (Cornwall), and the suspected gunman was taken to hospital with self-inflicted wounds and is under arrest.

  • There appear to have been no suspicious circumstances in two other fatal shootings: one man was found dead at a pub in Fernhurst (Sussex) and another at his house in Arrington (Cambridge).

  • There were several shooting incidents reported in September that resulted in injury.  These occurred in:

    • Bristol - a teenager was injured in the groin in a shooting at a nightclub

    • Cornwall - see above

    • Greater Manchester - a man was seriously injured in Stockport and needed emergency treatment for gunshot wounds to his chest and leg (a man has been arrested)

    • Hertfordshire - two men were shot and injured during an armed attack on security guards at a supermarket in Tring (see below)

    • Leeds - a man was shot in the chest in the Harehills area

    • London - a man has described how he was shot in the head at his home in Addiscombe (south London) in August but escaped with minor injuries, and a doorman suffered a bullet wound in a shooting in South Woodford (north-east London)

    • Merseyside - in two apparently targeted attacks a man was shot in the leg in Croxteth and another was shot in the leg in Birkenhead - the injuries to neither victim were believed to be life threatening

    • Suffolk - a man received serious head injuries after a shooting in the village of Wickham Skieth (a man has been arrested)

    • Tyneside - a man is recovering after being shot in the lower stomach at a pub in Chapel House (a man has been arrested)

    • West Midlands - in three separate incidents a man was shot in the back in Newtown (Birmingham), another received a gunshot wound to his leg in Tipton (a man has been arrested) and three people were injured during a shooting in Bilston

  • There were also injuries to several victims of airgun attacks (see below).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - Six armed attacks on security guards, apparently involving guns, were reported during September.

    • In Andover (Hampshire) three men snatched a cash box from security guards

    • Two people, a security guard and a shopper who tried to intervene, were shot during a raid at a supermarket in Tring (Hertfordshire)

    • Security guards and staff at a garage in West Timperley (Greater Manchester) were intimidated by a gang armed with a shotgun who stole cigarettes

    • Two security van guards were threatened by a man with a gun at a supermarket in Windsor (Berkshire)

    • A masked gang robbed security guards delivering money to cash machines in Boston (Lincolnshire) - one guard was kicked in the face and an object which may have been a gun was seen during the raid

    • Two men armed with a small handgun stole cash boxes in Rusthall (Kent)

  • There were robberies and attempted robberies by men apparently armed with guns on a bank in Dundee (nothing was stolen), on bookmakers in Heanor (Nottinghamshire) and Barnsley (South Yorkshire), and on shops in Cheadle Hulme (Greater Manchester) and Buttershaw (West Yorkshire).  Two men have been charged over a robbery at a betting shop in Ilford (east London).

  • A man was robbed at gunpoint in the street in Earl's Court (west London) and an elderly woman had her handbag grabbed in a street robbery in Norris Green (Liverpool).  Four residents of Westcliff (Essex) were robbed at gunpoint in a series of crimes: a teenager has been arrested.  Two teenagers were attacked in a suspected gunpoint robbery in Deepdale (Preston).

  • In another incident in Norris Green (Liverpool) a man was threatened with a shotgun during a carjacking.

  • Armed robbers used a stun gun and CS gas when stealing two computers, a phone and cash from a man at his home in Prestwich (Manchester).  A man was attacked with a stun gun and had his car and cash stolen in Kings Langley (Hertfordshire).

  • Other Incidents - A shotgun was fired at a police car as it followed a stolen vehicle in Salford: a man was later arrested and a gun recovered.

  • A number of people were arrested in Knowsley (Merseyside) after incidents that included one in which a shot was fired through a taxi window and another in which two men on a motorcycle opened fire into the air.

  • Four people were arrested after a firearm was discharged following an altercation in Wigston Fields (Leicester).  One man was arrested after reports of a firearm being discharged in St Ann's (Nottingham).  A gun was fired in a street in Darwen (Lancashire) after the resident of a house was threatened by a gang.

  • A shotgun was fired at the rear of a taxi in Granton (Edinburgh).  The incident may be linked to another in Edinburgh in which a gun was discharged outside a pub in Broomhouse - two men have been arrested.

  • Three men were arrested after brandishing a sawn-off shotgun outside a pub in Elland (West Yorkshire).

  • A group of men are accused of holding two men hostage in Thamesmead (south east London) after the victims were abducted at gunpoint from a sports store in West London.

  • Armed police went to a property in Chatham (Kent) after reports that a man had been spotted with a firearm.  A man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm after someone was apparently spotted with a gun in a car near Aberdare (South Wales).

  • A man was arrested under the Firearms Act after a siege in Liskeard (Cornwall).

  • A man who brandished a handgun after a party in Waterfoot (Lancashire) is being sought by police.

  • Gun Finds and Losses - Firearms were recovered and a number of arrests made following police searches.

    • Five people were arrested after a shotgun was found during a search in Birkenhead (Merseyside)

    • A loaded shotgun was found in the front garden of a house in Chorley (Lancashire) - three people were arrested but were all released on bail

    • A loaded pistol was recovered by police from a house in Handsworth (Birmingham) - a man was arrested

    • Two self-loading pistols were found at a property in Moss Side (Manchester) - three people have been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm

    • A loaded gun and a large sum of cash were found during a raid in Aldermaston (Berkshire) - two of the four men arrested have been charged with firearms offences

    • A number of firearms were found at a property in Bardfield Saling (Essex) - two people were arrested on suspicion of firearms and drugs offences

    • Two people were arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm after a shotgun was found during a raid on caravans and land in Bickington (Devon)

  • Two guns have been stolen during a raid on a gun shop in Woodhall Spa (Lincolnshire) along with 400 ball-bearing (BB) pellets and around 100 CO2 cylinders suitable for air pistols.  GCN understands that the stolen guns are ball and powder weapons.

  • A police firearms officer left a gun in the toilets of a coffee shop in central London.  An army assault rifle was lost during an exercise on Dartmoor (Devon).

  • A diver found a sawn-off shotgun while helping to clear rubbish from a river in Ipswich.

  • Airguns - There were more incidents which resulted in air weapon injuries to innocent victims.

    • Another toddler was in hospital after being shot in the head with an air rifle by his father, this time in Hayes (west London) - a man was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

    • A 14-year-old suffered wounds to his back and bottom after being shot in Wythall (Worcestershire) by two other boys

    • A child was shot in the neck as he took part in a sponsored walk in Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire) - a fellow pupil was suspended from school

    • A man needed hospital treatment after being hit by an airgun shot in a drive-by shooting in Broxburn (West Lothian)

    • A teenager was shot in the eye at close range with an airgun in Leyland (Lancashire) - a man has been charged with possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life

    • Two men were shot at with an air rifle whilst they were at a birthday party in Weston-super-Mare (Somerset)

    • A teenage girl was shot in the head by an airgun shooter while playing on a trampoline in her back garden in Morpeth (Northumberland) - a man has been charged with assault and a woman with incitement to unlawfully wound

  • A teenager was threatened with a .22 air rifle whilst being robbed of a portion of chips in Ouston (County Durham).

  • A young mother and her baby were on a bus in Edinburgh when a window was shattered by what is believed to have been an airgun pellet.  A bus was shot at with what is believed to have been an airgun while it was travelling along a road near Acle (Norfolk).  In Fleetwood (Lancashire) two trams were targeted in airgun attacks in two days.

  • An airgun pellet was fired through a window at a store in Burnham-on-Sea (Somerset), and damage estimated at 100 was caused to street lights in Meden Vale (Nottinghamshire).  Four people were detained and an air rifle recovered after reports that a man had discharged a gun towards a house in Balintore (Easter Ross).  A car window was shattered at a builders' merchants in Leyland (Lancashire).

  • A man was released without charge after being questioned by police following an incident in which primary school pupils were allegedly shown a gun, reported to be an air rifle, whilst visiting Willington Marina (Derbyshire).

  • Imitation Guns - An 11-year-old boy suffered minor injuries when he was hit in the chest by pellets from a BB gun in Alvaston (Derbyshire).

  • A patient held up an ambulance with an imitation handgun and threatened to kill its crew before taking the vehicle and crashing it into five cars in Dagenham (east London) - he has been charged with various offences including two counts of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

  • Train services were disrupted for three hours as police investigated a firearms incident near Rugby station (Warwickshire) in which "Heavy duty ball bearings" which had the potential to cause serious or fatal injury were fired at and damaged a lorry.

  • A man has been charged with having an imitation gun after an incident in which a teenager was threatened in Chalvey (Berkshire).

  • An imitation gun was recovered after armed police surrounded the home of a man in Stockbridge Village (Liverpool) following reports that a gunman was inside.

  • Two men sparked an armed response in Southend (Essex) when taking part in a "team-building exercise" involving imitation guns.

  • A cafe window in Paignton (Devon) has been peppered with shots, possibly from a ball bearing gun.

  • A woman was arrested for having 26 boxed replica BB guns at an outdoor market in Towyn (North Wales) during an undercover sting.

  • Travellers wearing bullet belts and imitation gun belts have been causing security problems at Edinburgh Airport.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - The toll of airgun abuse towards animals continues to rise, yet those with the power to act seem unwilling to take appropriate action.  In September there were airgun attacks on cats in Berkshire, Bristol, Dorset, Flintshire, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Kent (two incidents), Norfolk, Somerset, Sussex and West Yorkshire.

  • The police are investigating the fatal shooting of a badger found in St Ives (Cornwall).

  • A horse was killed by a single shot to the neck in a field in Godstone (Surrey).

  • Swans were shot at with a BB gun by two youngsters in Clevedon (Somerset) - one of the birds was shot in the eye and blinded.  Ducks had previously been shot at the same site.


  • Convictions - A man who shot his 17-year-old victim in the stomach in Tottenham (north London) has been jailed for ten years after admitting grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition - the teenager was only saved by emergency surgery.

  • Three teenagers have been jailed for offences committed in south-east London.  A 19-year-old has admitted possessing a firearm and causing grievous bodily harm with intent for firing at a police officer in New Cross and has been ordered to serve a minimum term of eight years.  Two other teenagers have been given seven and four year sentences after pointing a converted Brocock revolver loaded with live ammunition at one of three people whom they robbed in Greenland Quay.

  • Three men have been jailed for offences committed in east London.  A man caught with a gas-powered gun and a knife at Dagenham Heathway station has been jailed for five years.  Two men were jailed for six years and five years after an incident in Forest Gate in which a man was chased by another brandishing a sawn-off shotgun.

  • A man from Kirkby-in-Ashfield (Nottinghamshire) has been jailed for a total of 22 years for arson, firearm and drug offences - component parts of a rifle, a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition were found at his home.  A man from Houghton-le-Spring (County Durham) has admitted illegally possessing a handgun and drug - he will be sentenced later.  A teenager was given a mandatory five year sentence after police found a shotgun under his bed at his home in South Shields (Tyneside).

  • Four men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and possession of a firearm after an attempted armed robbery at a jewellery shop in Oxted (Surrey) which was foiled by police officers at the scene - three were jailed for ten years, the fourth man for six years.

  • There were two court cases involving shotguns in Scotland.  A 16-year-old caught with a sawn-off shotgun in Glasgow has admitted being in possession of an offensive weapon and will be sentenced next month.  A man who was offered two stolen shotguns to sell has pleaded guilty to resetting them and failing to have a firearms certificate.

  • A man from Headley Heath (Worcestershire) was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence for keeping a pump-action shotgun.  A 20-year-old has been found guilty of two counts of possessing a prohibited firearm and three counts of possessing ammunition without the correct authority after guns were found during a raid in Bolton (Greater Manchester) - police had been alerted by video footage on YouTube.

  • A man failed to get a reduction in his ten-year sentence for possessing a gun after being convicted of possessing a revolver and ammunition in The Meadows (Nottingham).  Another man had his appeal against the length of a five-year sentence dismissed: he was jailed after admitting possessing a prohibited weapon, a 12-bore shotgun.

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - A number of men who used air weapons to threaten, intimidate or injure have been convicted.

    • A man who armed himself with a gas-powered air pistol and shot a man after a drunken row in Calne (Wiltshire) has been jailed for 18-months

    • A man who fired an air weapon in Ferryhill (County Durham) hitting his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend twice has been jailed for three years

    • A man has admitted brandishing an air rifle in public close to a school in Gowerton (Swansea) and will be sentenced later

    • A man has been jailed for two years after forcing a woman out of her car in Bridgham (Norfolk) by poking an air rifle through the window

    • A teenager has been given a four-month home curfew following a prank in which he terrified another young man at a campsite in Carleton (North Yorkshire) by pointing a .22 air rifle at him

    • A man from Eastbourne (Sussex) has been convicted of having a firearm with intent to cause a police officer to believe unlawful violence would be used against him after raising a .22 air rifle at officers who rushed to his house after being told he intended to kill himself

  • A man who trashed his house in Swindon (Wiltshire) and assaulted his wife admitted three counts of criminal damage and was convicted of common assault, but he was found not guilty of a firearm charge - he had been accused of pointing an air rifle at a police woman and had apparently smashed the windscreen of a police patrol car with the barrel of the gun.

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - A man, one of three who burst into a home in Frankley (Birmingham) and threatened a family with a sawn-off shotgun whilst demanding cash, was convicted of aggravated burglary and possession of an imitation firearm.  A man on day release from prison was found guilty of robbing a post office in North Newbald (East Yorkshire) whilst in possession of an imitation gun.

  • A teenager who brandished a ball bearing gun that looked like an M16 assault rifle at a neighbour in Calne (Wiltshire) could face the prospect of jail.

  • A woman from Gilmerton (Edinburgh) admitted possession of an offensive weapon, a replica firearm, and will be sentenced next month.

  • A man who smuggled an imitation pistol into the country has been fined 500 for brandishing it during a scuffle in Newton Abbot (Devon).

  • A shopkeeper from Keighley (West Yorkshire) who fired a ball-bearing gun at a boy he found stealing a chocolate bar has been given a conditional discharge for 12 months after pleading guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.

OCTOBER 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - There were five shooting attacks reported in October which resulted in a victim's death

    • Three men were murdered in London, in Bermondsey and Kennington in south London and near Brent Cross in north London

    • One of two men shot in the centre of Glasgow died of his wounds - this was the first gun homicide in Scotland since August 2007

    • A man was shot dead at his house in Ditton (Kent)

  • A man was shot dead by police in Harold Hill (east London) following a domestic dispute: three firearms were recovered by officers at the scene.

  • There were a number of other fatal shooting incidents in which there were apparently no suspicious circumstances:

    • A farmer from Hurstpierpoint (Surrey) died from shotgun injuries

    • A 16-year-old student died of a shotgun wound at home in Longstock (Hampshire)

    • A man apparently shot himself and died in a hospital ward in Northampton

    • A second 16-year-old died of a shotgun wound at a kennels in Paulerspury (Northamptonshire)

  • Two other victims died following incidents in which firearms were brandished:

    • A man was found dead after a gunman burst into offices at an industrial park in Pontypool (South Wales): it is thought the gunman was armed with a handgun but this was not fired.

    • A man in his eighties died, apparently of natural causes, two days after he was threatened by armed robbers at his home in Cookham Dean (Berkshire)

  • Shooting incidents that resulted in injury occurred in:

    • Birmingham - a man suffered a broken leg when he was shot in Ladywood and another victim was shot in Handsworth

    • Glasgow - as well as the double shooting in the city centre in which one man died and another was seriously injured (see above), a man was shot in the face and stomach in the Calton area

    • Merseyside - a number of victims were injured in incidents in Netherley, Fazakerley, Everton and Halewood

    • Surrey - a man apparently attempted suicide by shooting himself in the face with a shotgun in Englefield Green (Surrey): he remained in a critical condition.

  • Other shooting incidents involving Airguns and Imitation Guns also resulted in injury, and these are listed below.

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were robberies and attempted robberies by men apparently armed with guns on a building society branch in Ruddington (Nottingham), bookmakers in Carlton (Nottingham), Crawley (Sussex) and Glasgow, a post office in Kings Langley (Hertfordshire), a filling station in Pudsey (West Yorkshire), a store in Ruskington (Lincolnshire), a hair salon in Reddish (Greater Manchester) and a takeaway in Bournemouth.  There were six armed robberies at premises in Stockport over a period of 10 days: the same men are believed to be responsible for them all.  An armed robber stole more than 5000 worth of items from a business in West Kensington (west London).

  • Security guards were robbed at building society branches in Kidderminster (Worcestershire) and Bournemouth (Dorset) and in Knightswood and Shawlands (both in Glasgow).  Robbers brandishing a pistol tried to rip a cashpoint out of a wall at a shop in Ancoats (Greater Manchester).

  • A bus driver was held up at gunpoint and his takings stolen in Runcorn (Cheshire).  Two taxi drivers in Slough and Britwell in Berkshire were robbed in the space of two days.

  • A teenager with a gun robbed a woman of her handbag in a street in Walker (Tyneside).

  • Youths returned 250 stolen from a pastor in an armed robbery in New Cross (south London).

  • Armed robbers threatened to shoot a man outside his home in Heaton (Bolton) if he did not hand over his car keys.  A driver was threatened with a sawn-off shotgun in Tottenham (north London).  A 15-year-old was left terrified after being threatened by a man with a gun in a car park in Kettering (Northamptonshire). 

  • A couple were robbed in their home in Stanley (County Durham) by two men, one of whom was armed with a gun: a 16-year-old has been arrested.  Robbers threatened a pensioner and his son at a home in Cookham Dean (Berkshire) and stole property: the father died 48 hours later apparently of natural causes (see above).  Two gunman threatened a man with a handgun in a flat in Ribbleton (Preston).

  • See below for other incidents in which an Imitation Gun is known to have been used.

  • Other Incidents - A shotgun was fired at a pub in Salford while drinkers were inside.  A gunman has targeted a house in Cumbernauld (North Lanarkshire).  Shots have been fired at a museum in Montrose (Angus) and there is speculation that the weapon might be a converted air rifle.

  • A rifle was recovered after an incident in Okehampton (Devon) when four people were arrested by armed police.

  • A man was arrested after someone was seen walking through Cotham (Bristol) with a gun.

  • Gun Smuggling, Finds and Losses - In Greater Manchester a man has been charged with several firearms offences in connection with one of the largest gun smuggling operations in the UK.  A woman and a teenage boy have been charged with possession of a firearm after being arrested in Levenshulme.  A man has also been charged with possession of a firearm after police seized a key fob gun in Dukinfield.

  • A former firearms dealer has had his licence revoked after more than 400 shotguns and rifles were seized by police from a house in Headington (Oxfordshire): he was held on suspicion of possession of a prohibited weapon and released on bail.

  • Four men were arrested after drugs, cash, a firearm and ammunition were seized by police at an address in Bradford.

  • A haul of bullets and shotgun cartridges were found by police in Huyton (Merseyside).  Police in South Yorkshire recovered two air rifles and a ball bearing gun in an operation focused on the movement of stolen scrap.

  • Officers from the UK Border Agency at Stansted Airport found two realistic "airsoft" rifles inside a consignment labelled as plastic toys from Hong Kong: they had been bought by a 17-year-old boy online.

  • A sawn-off shotgun was found in a pond in Partridge Green (Sussex).

  • Four 12 bore shotguns were stolen from a home in Holmewood (Derbyshire).  A shotgun and around 200 ammunition cartridges were stolen from a car in Bildeston (Suffolk).

  • Airguns - There was a further spate of incidents in which airguns were fired at members of the public.  This month's victims included:

    • Scouts at a camp in Devoran (Cornwall) who were repeatedly shot at with what is thought to have been an air rifle

    • A teenage boy hit in the shoulder with an air rifle pellet in Burnham-on-Sea (Somerset)

    • Two men and a 12-year-old boy hit by air rifle pellets in Lowestoft (Suffolk)

    • A 10-year-old boy hit in the head after being targeted by teenagers in Bartley Green (Birmingham)

    • Two schoolgirls waiting by tennis courts at a school in Bournemouth, one of whom was injured

    • A golfer shot with an air rifle during an ongoing campaign of vandalism and violence at a golf club in Hounslow (west London)

    • A teenage cyclist hit with what is believed to have been an airgun pellet in Oswestry (Shropshire)

    • A woman who suffered bruising after an airgun attack from a car in Brandon (Suffolk)

    • A woman walking her dogs in Stourport-on-Severn (Worcestershire) hit with an airgun pellet

    • A teenage paperboy who was shot at with an air weapon by a gang of youths in Peterborough

    • Young people fired at whilst working in a park in Dawdon (County Durham)

    • A woman shot with an airgun whilst she was sitting outside a bar in Bristol

    • A binman shot in the neck as he collected rubbish in Cardiff: two men were arrested on suspicion of possessing an air rifle

    • A woman needed medical attention after being hit in the face with an airgun pellet in Paisley (Renfrewshire)

    • A man shot in a drive-by shooting in Partick (Glasgow)

  • A jogger believes an air rifle pellet missed him by inches as he crossed a path in Askham Richard, near York: he says he tripped over cans in a road which had been set up as shooting targets.

  • Bus drivers in Barnstaple (Devon) have warned that they might refuse to work on one service because of fears that a roadside sniper is targeting buses.  A car was hit in an airgun attack in Haverhill (Suffolk).

  • In Devon a man was arrested in Tavistock after he had stormed off from a psychiatric unit and was believed to be in possession of an air rifle.  A man was charged with various offences after an airgun was allegedly fired in Uffculme.

  • A window was hit by an airgun pellet and a pigeon was killed at neighbouring houses in Bournemouth.  An airgun was fired at a window in Wildmill (Glamorgan), shattering glass.

  • A man is being sought after being seen firing an air rifle at street lights and windows in Mytholmroyd and Luddenden Foot in West Yorkshire.  In Paisley (Renfrewshire) a man was arrested for firing an air rifle from premises, and staff at a restaurant were threatened by two males carrying an air weapon.

  • Police Responses to Airgun and Imitation Gun Incidents - There have been a number of instances this month in which victims or their parents have complained about the inadequacy of some police responses to incidents involving airguns and imitation guns.  The impact of such incidents on victims cannot be underestimated and they merit appropriate and urgent attention.  Those who have complained during October have included:

    • The family of a boy hit in the head outside the family home in Bartley Green (Birmingham) who are angry that police let the attackers walk away after issuing a caution

    • The parent of a schoolgirl who was targeted with an airgun in Bournemouth

    • A jogger who claims he was shot at with an air rifle in Askham Richard (North Yorkshire) says the police failed to speak to him about the incident and took the word of the men with rifles

    • A family who witnessed a pigeon being killed with an airgun in their garden in Bournemouth

    • A father whose son was shot at by youths in Peterborough

    • A woman whose home was attacked by yobs firing a ball bearing gun in Stretford - an officer only came to see her after she reported a third incident

  •  

  • Imitation Guns - A number of people were hit by shots from imitation guns:

    • A woman was shot in the knee with a ball-bearing gun pellet in Swindon (Wiltshire)

    • A cyclist was hit in the face by ball-bearing gun pellets fired from a car in Weston-super-Mare (Somerset)

    • A man was shot three times with a gas-powered ball-bearing pistol in a racist attack in South Norwood (south London)

    • A nine-year-old girl was shot in the eye with a BB gun near her home in Carfin (North Lanarkshire)

    • A pupil at a school in Crossmyloof (Glasgow) was hit near the eye with a BB gun pellet

    • A teenage boy fired a BB gun at a man standing outside a pub in Bellshill (North Lanarkshire).

  • A 12-year-old boy was robbed at gunpoint in Herne Bay (Kent): an imitation handgun was recovered and three suspects arrested.  A man has been charged with robbery using an imitation firearm after an attempt to rob a bank in Blackpool.  A 15-year-old was charged after an attempted robbery at a shop in Bilton (Rugby) when he was armed with a BB gun.

  • Ball bearing guns were fired windows of homes in Kingsmead (Staffordshire) and Stretford (Manchester).

  • A car being driven by a mother in Pinhoe (Devon) was hit with a ball bearing.

  • A number of teenagers have been charged after police swooped on four homes in Widnes (Cheshire) following an alleged incident involving imitation guns in a park in the town.

  • A 13-year-old pupil has been expelled from a school in Kettering (Northamptonshire) after he fired several shots from a ball bearing gun around the classroom.

  • A man brandishing what may have been an imitation gun chased a 13-year-old boy in Ormesby (Teesside).

  • A number of people were arrested or charged for possessing imitation weapons:

    • A male youth has been charged with possession of an imitation gun on a street in Inverness

    • A teenage girl was helping police with their inquiries after they discovered two BB guns in a flat in Banstead (Surrey): a street was closed after she was seen brandishing a handgun

    • A youth filmed by friends pointing a replica AK47 replica rifle at cars in High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire) was arrested and the weapon seized

    • A 17-year-old was arrested after allegedly threatening a number of people in Loughborough (Leicestershire) with a replica gun

    • A woman in Paisley was arrested in possession of a replica self-lading pistol

  • Incidents Involving Animals - More cats have fallen victim to airgun snipers.  Incidents in which pets were seriously injured, sometimes fatally, were reported from Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Devon (two reports), Norfolk, South Wales, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Sussex and West Lothian (two cats from the same home have been attacked)

  • A cow was found at a farm in Leicestershire with an airgun pellet in the side of its neck: a number of other cows have been the target of attacks, and two boys, aged 11 and 12, have been spoken to by the police.

  • A donkey was lucky to survive after being shot with an airgun in Belton (Norfolk).

  • A man was fined for killing two protected birds with an airgun while shooting outside his home Aberdeen.

  • Two sheep were found dead from gunshot wounds near Grantham (Lincolnshire).


  • Convictions - Three men were convicted of the murder of a man who was ambushed and shot as he walked home from a pub in Hartcliffe (Bristol).  A man has been found guilty of the murder of a man who was shot in the neck and leg at a bar in Fulham (west London): he will serve at least 28 years.  Two men have been convicted of the murder of a man who was fatally shot in Brockley (south London).

  • A man must serve at least six years after pleading guilty to a number of offences following a shooting in Huyton (Merseyside) in which a man was seriously wounded.  A man has been jailed for six years for possession of a firearm after a shooting in Letchworth Garden City (Hertfordshire).  A man has been found guilty of shooting a man in the leg over a drug debt in Handsworth Wood (West Midlands): he was also convicted of possessing a stun gun and drug offences.

  • A man who accidentally shot a teenage girl in the head at a party in Gorton (Manchester) admitted a number of charges including possession of a firearm and possession of an imitation firearm.

  • A man has been jailed for at least six years for a number of robbery and firearm offences, including robberies in Feltham and Isleworth (west London).  Four men were convicted over a series of armed robberies across southern England which ended when police shot and killed two other members of the gang in Chandler's Ford (Hampshire).

  • A man was jailed for 32 months after keeping his sister and brother-in-law at gunpoint in Alness (Ross-shire).  Another man has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of staging an armed raid on the home of his sister in Pilton (Edinburgh).

  • Sentencing was deferred on a woman who admitted assault repeatedly presenting a handgun or imitation handgun at another woman in Troon (Ayrshire).

  • Three men who used a stun gun whilst attacking another man in Newmains (North Lanarkshire) have been jailed for four years and nine months.

  • There were a number of convictions of people caught in possession of prohibited firearms:

    • A man and his girlfriend received sentences of eight and five years, respectively, for possession of a sawn-off shotgun in Handsworth (Birmingham)

    • A man has been jailed for five years for possessing a sawn-off shotgun at his caravan in Ryton (Warwickshire)

    • A man was jailed for five-and-a-half years for minding two guns: a loaded pistol had been found under his pillow at a house in Broad Green (Merseyside)

    • Two men were jailed for seven-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to having two loaded pistols in a car outside a pub in Derby

    • A man from Allenton (Derby) has pleaded guilty to a drugs offence and possessing a firearm and ammunition

    • A man has been given a five-and-a-half year sentence after a shotgun was found in the boot of his car in Lydd (Kent)

    • A man pleaded guilty to possessing a shotgun and ammunition in Oldham: he was jailed for five years

    • A man pleaded guilty to a number of firearm offences after guns were found in a car in Wigan

    • Two men were given jail terms of five years and four months after they hid a sawn-off double-barrel shotgun in long grass in Lancaster

    • A man was jailed for five years after being caught with a pistol in Possil Park (Glasgow)

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - A coroner recorded a verdict of misadventure at an inquest into the death of a 17-year-old who was shot in the heart with an air rifle in Maesglas (Newport).

  • Two men who were armed with an airgun when they attempted to rob a post office in Consett (County Durham) have been given four year jail sentences.

  • The list of convictions of many other offenders who were armed with airguns reflects the continuing ease of availability of these weapons to those who would misuse them.

    • A man who threatened to shoot a schoolboy with an airgun in Moortown (Leeds) has been jailed for six months

    • A man arrested by armed police after brandishing an airgun in Copley (West Yorkshire) was given a conditional discharge

    • A man jailed for 20 months for terrifying police officers in Bamber Bridge (Lancashire) with an air pistol failed to win a reduction in his sentence

    • An eight month jail sentence was given at an Ipswich court to a man who attacked his partner and fired shots from an air rifle

    • A man faces a lengthy jail term for threatening a man with an airgun in Gosport (Hampshire)

    • A man who pointed an air rifle at people at a Rochdale hospital has been given an indeterminate jail sentence (minimum of 618 days)

    • A man was jailed for a year after he brandished an air rifle during an argument in Leyland (Lancashire)

    • A man was convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after showing an air pistol to a man at a bus depot in Bures (Suffolk)

    • A 16-year-old has been given 120 hours of community service after firing an air rifle from his attic skylight into the street in Uphall (West Lothian)

    • A teenager has been given 200 hours of community service after threatening to shoot police officers in Penicuik (Midlothian) with an air rifle

    • A man was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service after firing shots from a balcony of a block of flats in Paisley (Renfrewshire)

    • A man was caught with a loaded air weapon in woods in Livingston (West Lothian): sentencing has been deferred

    • A Swindon woman admitted having an air pistol with intent to cause another woman to fear unlawful violence: she has been warned to expect a prison sentence.

  • A teenager was told to "keep out of trouble" after shooting his neighbour's garden ornaments with an air rifle in Westerham (Kent).

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - A man who fired an imitation Colt revolver through the window of a house in Derby has been given a three-and-a-half year sentence.

  • A man from Fareham (Hampshire) who has been convicted of three specimen offences relating to sexual assault on a child had apparently threatened his victim with a ball bearing gun.

  • A man was jailed for two years and two months after pleading guilty to assault and possessing an imitation firearm which he used in an attack on a man in Blackpool.

  • A man who threatened staff and customers at a charity shop in Bridlington (East Yorkshire) with an imitation gun has been treated for a personality disorder and will be sentenced later.  Two men who raided a number of premises in Bolton whilst armed with imitation guns are awaiting sentencing.  Two 16-year-olds who pleaded guilty robbing a shop in Abington (Northampton) were also armed with an imitation firearm: they have been sentenced to two years and 18 months detention.

NOVEMBER 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

This month's list is a somewhat typical reflection of the pattern of gun incidents in Britain in 2008.

  • The number of homicides, four, was just above the monthly average for this year which is at its lowest for at least twenty years.  All the victims were male, one a teenager aged 15.  The other fatal shooting was the fourth this year in which armed police were involved.
  • A number of people were injured by firearms, a significant proportion of which were air weapons and imitation guns, many of them targeted at youngsters and fired by other youngsters.  The number of young people involved in gun crime, both as victims and perpetrators, remains a major concern.  Whilst shooting attacks with real firearms were largely confined to major urban areas those with imitation guns and airguns took place in a wider variety of communities.
  • The targeting of animals, especially the shooting of cats with airguns, is another aspect of gun crime that occurs every month.  These incidents continue apparently unabated.
  • Guns were used in a number of armed robberies at a variety of premises, including three hotels this month.  The weapons are very rarely fired and so the exact nature of the gun is often unknown.  Details from court cases held in November suggest that many of the offenders involved are as likely to have been armed with imitation guns as with real firearms.
  • The ease with which offenders, especially young people, continue to arm themselves with airguns and imitation guns suggests that these weapons remain inadequately controlled in spite of recent legislation.  There were reports of police acting against two shops selling imitation firearms, but it appears that more action is needed to ensure that the ban on the sale, import and manufacture of imitation guns is enforced so that the significant impact of these weapons on gun crime in Britain can be further curbed.

Gun Deaths and Injuries - There were five fatal shootings reported during November.

  • Two victims died of shotgun wounds, both in the Midlands, a 15-year-old was fatally wounded in Derby (a number of arrests have been made and two people have been charged with murder), and a man was shot dead in Tividale in the Black Country.

  • The other two gun homicides occurred in London, in West Ealing where a man was shot dead in an alleyway, and in West Croydon where the male victim was hit in a drive-by shooting.

  • A fifth man died when he was shot in the vicinity of Guildford Cathedral (Surrey) by police responding to reports of an armed man in the city.

  • Other shooting incidents that resulted in injury occurred in:

    • Greater Manchester - a man was seriously ill after being shot in the leg in a pub in Moss Side

    • Leeds - a man was shot in the stomach in Chapeltown

    • London - a man was found with a serious gunshot wound in a car outside a station in Beckton (east London): two men have been arrested

    • Merseyside - a 17-year-old was seriously injured in a shooting in Wavertree

    • Strathclyde - a man was shot in the arm, leg and stomach in an attack in Hamilton (Lanarkshire)

    • Staffordshire - a man was shot in the bottom during an attack in Rugeley: four people have been arrested

    • West Midlands - a 15-year-old was shot in the leg in Pendeford: another 15-year-old has been arrested

    • West Yorkshire - a man was shot in the arm in South Kirkby: a man has been charged with attempted murder

  • A taxi driver was struck over the head with what is believed to have been a handgun in Normanton (Derby).

  • A number of other gun crime victims were hit by pellets fired from airguns and imitation firearms (see below).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - There were robberies and attempted robberies by people apparently armed with guns on:

    • Post offices in Watford (Hertfordshire), High Spen (Tyneside) (the female robber fired a shot) and Epping (Essex)

    • Stores in Chapel-en-le-Frith (Derbyshire), Falmouth (Cornwall) and Johnstone (Renfrewshire)

    • A petrol station near Easington (County Durham)

    • Takeaway restaurants in Blackburn (an airgun is thought to have been fired during the robbery) and Waltham Abbey (Essex)

    • Bookmakers in Renfrew (the latest of a number of recent raids in the West of Scotland) and Cambridge

    • Hotels in Rugby, Bristol (one man has been charged) and Fornham St Genevieve (Suffolk)

  • A gunshot was fired during a failed raid on a security depot in Kearsley (Greater Manchester).  An armed man stole money during a delivery to a cash point in Yarm (Teesside) and another stole cash from security guards at a garage in Amersham (Buckinghamshire).

  • Two young women were robbed at gunpoint in Swansea by a youngster with a small pistol.  A man was mugged outside a shop in Smethwick (West Midlands).

  • Occupants of a house in Slough (Berkshire) were robbed by two men, one armed with a gun.  A man from Mustow Green (Worcestershire) was threatened with a gun and tortured during a robbery at his home.  Two men armed with a stun gun escaped with cash and jewellery during a robbery at a home in Luton (Bedfordshire).

  • Two armed robbers held up a taxi driver in Southampton, pointing a black handgun at him.

  • A lorry driver was threatened with a gun and made to drive across Essex from Thurrock to Fyfield during a robbery.

  • Other Incidents - A man opened fire on a police car in Highgate (north London): three people have been arrested.  A man was arrested after firing a "number of firearms" while police were negotiating with him in Plymouth.  Two men fired air rifles at police in two other incidents (see Airguns below). 

  • An army sergeant has appeared in court on a charge of possession of a firearm with intent to cause violence after allegedly firing off an AK47 rifle at a barracks in Blackwater (Surrey)

  • Shotguns were fired at houses in Netherton (Merseyside) and Kingsley (Northampton), and a house was damaged by bullets in Cheadle (Greater Manchester).

  • Two people were arrested after reports that a firearm had been discharged in Normanton (Derby).

  • Six people were arrested after raids at addresses in Longsight and Tameside in Greater Manchester in an operation to crackdown on major gangland shootings.

  • A man from Standish (Lancashire) has appeared in court to face child pornography and firearm charges.

  • Police were called to a house in Edwardsville (South Wales) following reports that a person had been seen with a firearm but found nothing.

  • Gun Seizures and Thefts - A man and a woman were arrested after police found three guns and ammunition in Clydebank (West Dunbartonshire).  Strathclyde Police have seized 23 illegal firearms and arrested almost 300 people during a recent crackdown on serious and organised crime.

  • On Merseyside, ten teenagers were arrested in Croxteth after police saw them acting suspiciously and found a gun, believed to be a decommissioned weapon, and a 15-year-old boy has been detained after a sawn-off shotgun was found at a house in St Helens.

  • A man from Ansdell (Lancashire) was charged with possessing a firearm and ammunition after a weapon and bullets were found at his home.

  • It was reported that a Mac-10 sub machine gun recovered from a garden in South London was one of the replica weapons converted by Grant Wilkinson, convicted for converting dozens of replicas into lethal guns in August: a reward have been offered for any information leading to the recovery of 40 outstanding converted guns.

  • A machine gun was among items found by police during a raid on a travellers site in Bolton searching for stolen goods.

  • A shotgun, ammunition and cash were stolen from a house in Wickham Market (Suffolk).  Three shotguns and an air rifle were stolen from a farm in Trafford (Greater Manchester).

  • Airguns - A coroner recorded a verdict of suicide at the inquest of a man from Swadlincote (Derbyshire) who shot himself in the stomach with an air rifle.

  • More victims were hit by airgun pellets in attacks during November, a number in the North East of England.

    • A man was hit in the face in Telford (Shropshire).

    • A woman was shot in the eye in Sunderland: three teenagers have been arrested.  In a second incident in the city a man had to be treated in hospital after being shot with what was believed to have been an airgun pellet.

    • A 12-year-old boy was shot with either an air weapon or BB gun in Thorntree (Middlesbrough).

    • In Gateshead (Tyneside) a man was hit on the hand in Pelaw in one of a series of airgun attacks which police believe are linked, and in another attack in Beacon Lough an 11-year-old boy was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was shot with a pellet gun.

    • A teenager was shot with an air pistol and received injuries to his elbow and an eye when he was attacked at the crematorium in Barton (Oxford): two teenagers have been arrested.

    • A 9-year-old girl was shot with an air pistol at a primary school in the Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire).

  • Two men were arrested after air rifles were fired at police in two separate incidents in Bognor (Sussex) and Weymouth (Dorset).

  • Three shots from what is believed to have been an airgun were fired during a robbery on a takeaway in Blackburn (Lancashire).

  • A man has been charged with threatening another with a firearm, believed to be an air weapon, in Ipswich.  A man was arrested after running outside with an airgun when he thought youngsters were aiming fireworks at his Hertford home: four shotguns and cartridges were also seized by police.  Armed police officers were called to a house in Grantham (Lincolnshire) following reports that a man was making threats with an air rifle.

  • A train windscreen was damaged when it was hit by an air rifle pellet near St Erth station (Cornwall).

  • Imitation Guns - A number of victims were injured in attacks with imitation guns.

    • A 13-year-old was shot in the stomach with a ball-bearing gun in Lowestoft (Suffolk).

    • Two people were shot in separate incidents in South Gloucestershire involving a ball-bearing gun, in Henbury and Stoke Gifford.

    • Two 11-year-old children were shot with a BB gun whilst walking in York: a 12-year-old boy has been arrested

  • A woman was struck on the hand by a paintball pellet in Lowestoft (Suffolk).

  • A boy is reported to have caused damage in Barrow and Walney in Cumbria where he opened fire with a ball-bearing gun.  A ball-bearing gun was probably fired from a moving car to cause damage to vehicles and bus shelters in Southbourne and Christchurch (Dorset).

  • Two youths were spoken to by police in Andover (Hampshire) and a BB gun seized after one of them was seen with a gun.

  • A teenage girl who smuggled a ball-bearing gun into her school in Manchester has been excluded.

  • A shopkeeper from Inverness has been accused of selling imitation guns after a spate of incidents across the Highlands involving people carrying imitation weapons.  Police have seized BB guns from a Christmas shop in Poole (Dorset) and are investigating whether they are realistic enough to be mistaken for real firearms.

  • Carers who discovered a gun in the house of an elderly disabled woman they were attending in Stoke-on-Trent were concerned enough about the weapon, a starter pistol owned by her husband, to stop visiting.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - There was the usual list of reports of cats targeted by airgun snipers, this month from Devon (two reports), Glamorgan, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire (two reports), West Midlands (three reports) and West Yorkshire.

  • Others animals were the victims of shootings.  A dog was found dead with a gunshot wound in Pentre (Mid Glamorgan).  A reward has been offered for information into the shooting of a number of ducks in March (Cambridgeshire).

  • See also Airguns (Court Cases) below.


  • Convictions - Seven men, all members of the Outlaws biker gang, have received life sentences after being convicted of murder and other offences following the death of a man who was shot on the M40 in Warwickshire.  In a separate trial, only reported this month, another member of the Outlaws was sentenced to 12 years after guns and ammunition were discovered at his home in Selsley (Gloucestershire).

  • A man has been jailed for a minimum of four years for the manslaughter of his stepfather whom he shot dead at his home in Liverpool.

  • Two men have been convicted for their part in a shotgun attack on a man in Preston (Lancashire): one of them was found guilty of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to commit murder.

  • As a result of another shotgun attack in Partington (Manchester), in which the victim was shot in the back and chest, a man has been jailed for 10 years.

  • Following two separate incidents in Glasgow a man has been jailed for nearly six years in prison after a shotgun attack which took place in 2004 in which two people were injured, and another man who dropped a bag containing a loaded shotgun, which then injured the police officer who picked it up, has been jailed for five years.

  • Two men involved in an armed carjacking and in a subsequent attempted robbery on a betting shop in Oldbury (West Midlands) have been jailed for 17 and a half years and nine years.

  • A man has admitted possessing various prohibited weapons and having a firearm and ammunition in a public place in Broad Green (Liverpool) but denies the murder of a man in Huyton (Merseyside) whom he does admit robbing.

  • An internet trader from Sittingbourne (Kent) has been jailed for five years for possessing prohibited firearms, a shotgun without a certificate and a rocket launcher.

  • A memorabilia collector from Stafford has been jailed for five years for possessing a Second World War rifle listed as a prohibited weapon.

  • A 20-year-old from Halliwell (Bolton) has been found guilty of two counts of possessing a prohibited firearm and three counts of possessing ammunition without the correct authority after video footage was posted on YouTube: he has been sent to a young offenders institution for five years (see September 2008 Incidents).

  • A number of teenagers appeared in court for offences involving guns.

    • A teenager was jailed for five years after police found a revolver, ammunition and cannabis at his house in Allenton (Derby).

    • A 14-year-old from New Cross (south London) who has admitted possessing a 9 mm Baikal pistol and a bag of 9mm cartridges has been told that custody was "almost inevitable" (see August 2008 Incidents).

    • A teenager from Bolton, who was 16 at the time of his offences, has been jailed for four years with a further one year on licence after he threatened two women, one of whom he sexually assaulted, by holding a gun to their heads.

    • After a spate of shootings in Huyton (Merseyside) an 18-year-old was jailed for six years for possessing a handgun and a concurrent seven-year sentence for possessing a submachine gun.  His teenage cousin was also given a seven year sentence after he was caught with the submachine gun.  Another man was sentenced for three years.

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - A man who fired an air rifle out of a bathroom window in Castleford (West Yorkshire) and hit his neighbour and his son has been jailed for three years.  Two teenagers who admitted assault after a woman was hit in the head by an airgun pellet in Waterloo (West Yorkshire) have been ordered to do 150 hours and 200 hours unpaid work.

  • A 16-year-old who fired an air rifle at a schoolboy hitting him in the hip in an incident in Aberdare has been given a 10 months detention and training order after failing to comply with a community order.  An 18-year-old who shot a 14-year-old with an air weapon whilst they were fishing in Northampton has been given 162 hours community service and ordered to pay 500 compensation.

  • A man from Brinton (Norfolk) who shot dead his neighbour's dog with an air rifle after claiming to have become annoyed at its early morning barking was given a two-year conditional discharge after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.  He was also ordered to pay costs and 1,750 compensation.

  • Another man who shot a collared dove with an air rifle was given a 12-month conditional discharge and fined 938 after pleading guilty to shooting the bird at his home in Eastwood (Nottinghamshire).

  • A woman who admitted assault and breach of the peace after brandishing an airgun at two people in Blantyre (Lanarkshire) has been fined 600.

  • A man was jailed for 44 weeks after an incident in Nelson (Lancashire) in which he charged outside his house with a loaded airgun and a Samurai sword.

  • A 16-year-old has been given a six month referral order after being caught with an air weapon by police in Plymouth.

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - A number of men who used imitation firearms to commit robberies were convicted.

    • A man who robbed five Merseyside taxi drivers at gunpoint has pleaded guilty to six robberies and six offences of possessing an imitation firearm with intent and has been jailed for 11 years: his 19-year-old cousin received a 21 month sentence for his involvement in one of the offences.

    • Two men who raided a bookmakers in Gateshead pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm and knife: both were jailed for five years.

    • Two men have been jailed for eight-and-a-half years and six-and-a-half years for a robbery at a takeaway in Chorlton (Manchester) when a fake gun was held to a man's head.

    • An 18-year-old has admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice by allowing a blank firing pistol to be concealed at his address following an armed robbery at a bookmakers in Ovenden (West Yorkshire): two people have pleaded guilty to robbery.

  • A man who caused another man to fear violence when he showed him an imitation firearm in St Albans (Hertfordshire) was jailed for 18 months.  A man who pointed an imitation firearm at a librarian in Blackpool (Lancashire) has been placed on 18 months supervision.

  • A woman who threatened two women in Troon (Ayrshire) and had admitted assault, repeatedly presenting a handgun or imitation handgun at one of the women has been jailed for four-and-a-half years (see October 2008 Incidents).

DECEMBER 2008 - SUMMARY

> Click here for pdf version (includes full list of incidents)

Gun deaths in 2008

The following Summary is derived from the reports recorded by GCN in 2008.  The number of apparent gun homicides was the lowest for at least twenty years.

  • There were 42 apparent homicides reported during 2008 (this includes one that took place on 31 December 2007), 41 in England and Wales and 1 in Scotland.  The corresponding figures for 2007 were 51 and 4, respectively.

  • Fifteen of these occurred in London, 6 in the West Midlands, 4 in Merseyside and 4 in Greater Manchester.  There were two homicides in both Kent and Shropshire (the latter in same incident in which the gunman also took his own life), and one each in Bradford, Cornwall, Derby, Hertfordshire, Hull, Leeds, Northumberland and Sheffield.  The one gun homicide in Scotland occurred in Glasgow.

  • One third of the victims were under-21, including six young men in London. Two of the young victims died in Greater Manchester, the others were killed in shootings in Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Merseyside, Sheffield and Shropshire, where the 15-year-old victim was killed by her own father.  She and a 15-year-old boy shot in Derby were the youngest victims.

  • There were four female victims, three of whom were killed in two separate incidents by family members with links to gun clubs who then shot themselves.  The fourth was a teenager shot with an air rifle at a party.

  • Three other men were shot dead by armed police officers in two incidents in London and one in Guildford (Surrey).  In each case the dead man had been seen brandishing a gun, in one instance firing a shotgun from the window of a flat.

  • Airguns killed four people.  As well as the teenage girl shot at a party, a toddler died after being accidentally shot by his sister with their father's gun in the family garden.  Two men took their own lives with air rifles.

December 2008 Incidents

The Incidents reported in December showed a similar pattern of gun crime and misuse as in recent months.  They continue to reflect the worrying fact that, despite a fall in gun crime, a disproportionate number of incidents involve teenagers as victims and/or perpetrators.

  • Gun Deaths and Injuries - There were fatal shootings reported in South London (Camberwell) and West London (Shepherd's Bush) (two teenagers have been charged with the shooting).  An 18-year-old died two weeks after she was shot in the eye with an air rifle at a party in Bury (Greater Manchester). 

  • Shooting incidents that resulted in injury also occurred in:

    • Edinburgh (1) - a 19-year-old was shot in the stomach in a drive-by shooting in Broomhouse - it is believed the shooting was related to a drug feud

    • Greater Manchester (4) - two men were shot in the leg in separate incidents in Levenshulme and Pendleton, a teenager was shot in the buttock in Bury and a man was shot in the chest in Oldham

    • Lancashire (1) - a security guard was shot in the leg by robbers as he delivered to a cash machine in Blackburn

    • London (1) - a 14-year-old boy was shot in the chest in Greenford

    • Merseyside (2) - a 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg in a park in Everton and a 15-year-old was shot as he walked along a disused railway line in Knotty Ash

    • West Midlands (1) - a man was in hospital with stomach injuries after being shot in Foleshill (Coventry)

    • West Yorkshire (3) - a teenager was seriously injured in a shooting in Ravensthorpe, and two people, a woman and a teenage man, were injured in a shooting incident in Huddersfield.

  • There were other incidents in which victims were injured with airguns and imitation guns (see below).

  • Armed Hold-Ups and Assaults - A security guard was shot and injured during a robbery in Blackburn (Lancashire): a man has been arrested.  In another attack on security men a money container was grabbed by a masked gunman in Bothwell (South Lanarkshire).

  • There were a number of raids on homes in December:

    • County Durham - Armed men, one with a handgun, stole hundreds of pounds from a house in North Magdalene.

    • Dorset - A couple were robbed of 1000 at gunpoint at their home in Ashington.

    • Greater Manchester - Three men held a gun to a man's head, hit him on the head with a machete and stabbed him in the back when they broke into a house in Middleton.

    • Hertfordshire - Robbers armed with a shotgun stole thousands of pounds from a home in Goffs Oak.  A woman was held up at gunpoint during a robbery at her home in Brookmans Park.

    • West Yorkshire - A man was punched in the face by a gang of five who forced their way into his home in Barkerend (Bradford) armed with a knife and what is believed to have been an imitation firearm.

  • There were robberies and attempted robberies by men apparently armed with guns on:

    • a Bank - in Walkden (Greater Manchester)

    • Betting shops - in Caversham (Berkshire), Godmanchester (Cambridgeshire) (linked to a robbery at a store in the town), Headington (Oxford), Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire), Llanedeyrn (Cardiff) and  Openshaw (Greater Manchester) (a shot was fired),

    • a Food outlet - in Woodthorpe (Nottinghamshire)

    • Post offices - in Capel St Mary (Suffolk) (there were two robberies at the same premises during December), Wingate (Country Durham), Christchurch (Cambridgeshire) and Stotfold (Bedfordshire) (a long-barrelled gun was fired towards the ceiling)

    • a Pub  - in North Shields (Tyneside)

    • a Service station - in Thame (Oxfordshire)

    • Shops - in Broadstairs (Kent) (a man was later arrested at Victoria station in London), Cambridge, Cardiff (an air rifle was fired, injuring a shop assistant), Coseley (West Midlands) (the offender chased a woman customer down a road), Godmanchester (Cambridgeshire) (linked to a robbery at a bookmakers in the town) and Minehead (Somerset)

  • A man has been charged with a string of robberies and possession of firearms and imitation firearms in connection with a series of alleged raids, the latest this month on a jewellers in Stanmore (north London).

  • Two men have been arrested after a series of incidents in Oxfordshire in which two bus drivers were held up at gunpoint in Wheatley and Headington and a woman was robbed of her car in a pub car park in Stanton St John.  Another woman was robbed of cash whilst she was sitting in her car in Hexthorpe (South Yorkshire).

  • A taxi driver was threatened with a shotgun on a remote stretch of road in West Yorkshire.

  • Other Incidents - Two men have been charged after shots were fired at police officers from the back of a car in Ladbroke Grove (west London).

  • A car driver was shot at after an argument in a lay-by near Kilmacolm (Inverclyde).  A man was seen with a gun and at least one shot fired in Crabbs Cross (Worcestershire): a man has appeared in court charged with firearms offences.

  • A 19-year-old has appeared in court in Bolton accused of firing a warning shot from a converted blank-firing revolver at a witness's front door.

  • A man and a woman were charged with possession of a firearm (a shotgun) with intent to cause fear of violence and also with possession of a firearm with intent to resist arrest after police were called to a domestic incident in Didcot (Oxfordshire).  A man was arrested in connection with an alleged firearms incident at a farm in Kildary (Easter Ross).  A man has appeared in court accused of threatening his wife with a rifle at their home in Exmouth (Devon).

  • Three men were charged after a gun and a stun gun were found in a car pulled over in Southampton.

  • Three teenagers and an older man were arrested in Hartlepool (Teesside) for being in unlawful possession of a firearm.

  • A Plymouth teenager was charged by police after allegedly being found in possession of a stun gun and cocaine.

  • Gun Finds and Thefts - A number of weapons were found in raids in Ashington, Blyth and Cramlington in Northumberland: these included a Glock replica handgun re-activated to fire live rounds and two BB guns.  Police seized replica weapons and drugs during raids on properties in Buttershaw (Bradford).

  • A shotgun was stolen from a parked Land Rover in Penmaen (South Wales).  Four shotguns have been stolen from a house near Botus Fleming (Cornwall) but the theft could have occurred at any time between April and December.

  • A small air weapon was stolen from a farm in Clayton West (West Yorkshire).

  • Airguns - An 18-year-old woman who was shot in the eye in an incident at a flat in Bury (Greater Manchester) died two weeks later: a man had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and was bailed until February 2009.

  • There were other injuries, mostly to teenagers, as a result of airgun shots in:

    • Basingstoke (Hampshire) - a teenager was shot in the hand with an air rifle

    • Bedford - a 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg as she walked along a footpath

    • Cardiff - a shop assistant was shot during an attack on a store

    • Hemel Hempstead (Hertfordshire) - a young man shot a woman in the stomach on the doorstep of her house

    • Looe (Cornwall) - a teenager was in hospital after he was apparently shot in the eye with an air rifle (criminal charges are apparently being considered against three teenagers)

  • Two airgun attacks took place in as many days in a street in Beaumont Leys (Leicester): a car and a bus carrying elderly people were fired at.  An air rifle was fired from a car window as it was driven around Ingleton (North Yorkshire), and an airgun pellet shattered a bus window in Chaddesden (Derby).

  • A spate of airgun shootings occurred during one night in Aberdeen: three men, including two teenagers, have been arrested.

  • A rear window of a house was damaged with an air weapon in Almondbury (Huddersfield).  Lampposts in parks in Seaham (County Durham) have been damaged with an air weapon.  An advertising airship has been shot twice with airgun pellets in Ditching (East Sussex).  A 15-year-old boy was arrested after allegedly firing an airgun at road signs in South Shields (Tyneside).

  • Three people, all teenagers, were arrested in Newton Abbot (Devon) after two air rifles were found in their car.  A man has appeared in court after allegedly causing a breach of the peace whilst possessing an air weapon in Hawick (Scottish Borders).

  • Imitation Guns - Imitation guns were responsible for injuries to:

    • an 11-year-old schoolboy who was almost blinded when fellow students fired ball bearings at his head in the playground of a school in Market Drayton (Shropshire)

    • a 14-year-old girl who was shot in the eye with an ball-bearing gun as she waited for a friend in Pontefract (West Yorkshire): a 14-year-old boy was arrested

  • A 14-year-old boy was arrested after a paramedic and ambulance crew were shot at with plastic pellets while they were treating a patient in Portsmouth

  • Police had to deal with a number of incidents caused by suspects armed with imitation guns:

    • A group of teenagers filming themselves with fake guns for a project in Plymouth

    • Two people, a man and a 12-year-old, brandishing a handgun in Little Harwood (Lancashire), found to have two ball-bearing guns

    • A youth who fired pellets at shop windows in Market Drayton (Shropshire) and were spoken to by police officers

    • A man who threatened staff at a supermarket in Taunton (Somerset) with a ball-bearing gun

    • A police helicopter had to be scrambled over Westwood (East Kilbride) after two boys with a replica gun or an airgun were spotted

  • Two men have appeared in court accused of carrying an imitation firearm and a sword in Horley (Surrey).

  • The Parks Constabulary of the London Borough of Haringey has seized an imitation Kalashnikov and ball-bearing guns during the past three months.

  • Incidents Involving Animals - Airgun attacks on cats show no signs of abating with incidents reported from Cheshire (three attacks, two in the Widnes area), East Lothian, Kent, Oxfordshire, West Midlands, West Sussex (three separate attacks) and Worcestershire.

  • Two swans died after being shot in Derbyshire (Ironville, Codnor), at least one with an airgun.

  • Two rare breed animals were killed in separate attacks at a smallholding in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell (Oxfordshire).

  • Two teenagers, aged 18 and 14, who were armed with a .22 rifle and a shotgun when they killed two pet Shetland ponies in Whitchurch, Shropshire, admitted a number of offences and have been remanded in custody and local authority care.


  • Convictions - A number of people, most of them teenagers, were convicted following the murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones: the gunman, who was 16, at the time of the murder was found guilty of murder and has been sentenced to a minimum of 22 years in prison.

  • A man who shot a man 16 times in an "execution style" murder in Birmingham will serve a minimum term of 22 years after being found guilty of murder.  Another man found guilty of killing a man who was shot in Leeds will serve a minimum of 30 years.

  • A convicted murderer will serve an additional five years in prison after admitting attempting to defeat the ends of justice and possessing firearms and ammunition: he had fled from the dock when he was found guilty of murder and had a cache of weapons and ammunition hidden in a car parked in a car park in St Rollox (Glasgow).

  • A man has been jailed for eight years after he was found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life after he threatened staff at an Oxford nightclub.

  • A number of men were convicted of crimes involving shotguns:

    • A pub landlord from Congleton (Cheshire) who shot two of the regulars before turning his shotgun on himself has been jailed for 10 years

    • A man who fired a shotgun outside another man's house in Perth admitted a number of offences, including possessing a firearm with intent to cause his victim to believe unlawful would be used against him or another: he is aware that a custodial sentence is inevitable

    • A man who was found to have a double barrelled sawn-off shotgun during a police search in Bury (Greater Manchester) and was sentenced to four years after pleading guilty to a number of offences

    • A man from Gateacre (Liverpool) who admitted carrying a loaded shotgun in a public place and will be sentenced in January

    • A man from Wootton (Northamptonshire) who shot at his own burglar alarm and has been given a year's conditional discharge after admitting having a firearm in public

    • A man from Warndon (Worcester) who pleaded guilty to possession of a shotgun when prohibited by a previous four-year jail sentence and of 15 shotgun cartridges

  • A man who admitted carrying out six armed raids in Glasgow had presented a handgun or imitation handgun during five robberies at bookmakers: he will be sentenced later.

  • A former policeman from Offord Darcy (Cambridgeshire) has been jailed for fourteen years for a string of offences including fraud and firearms charges.

  • A 20-year-old who has represented Scotland at shooting faces a minimum five years' detention after he admitted a series of offences under the Firearms Act: police found an arsenal of illegal firearms he had been assembling from imported parts at his home in Longniddry (East Lothian).

  • Two men were jailed for three years after pleading guilty to actual bodily harm and false imprisonment following an incident in Blackpool in which they stripped their victim and shot him with a stun gun: one of the men was given an additional 18 months for possession of an offensive weapon to run concurrently.

  • Airguns (Court Cases) - In a second such case this year a coroner in Wrexham has recorded a verdict of suicide at the inquest into the death of a man who shot himself with an air rifle.

  • A woman from Tonbridge (Kent) who tried to kill her teenage son by firing an airgun at his head has been jailed indefinitely for public protection with a minimum term of three years.

  • A man who shot a young girl in the eye with an airgun pellet in an incident in Hersden (Kent) has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

  • A man who terrified his wife's ex-husband in Fraserburgh (Aberdeenshire) when he turned up with an authentic-looking air pistol has been jailed for 12 months.

  • A gamekeeper who pointed a loaded air rifle at a bouncer at a nightclub in Stowmarket (Suffolk) has been jailed for three years.

  • A man seen in possession of a .22 air rifle in Lancaster was also responsible for criminal damage at a church in Morecambe and has been given an eight month suspended prison sentence and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.

  • A man who admitted possessing an over-powerful air rifle, a knuckleduster and cannabis has been warned he faces a prison sentence.

  • Imitation Guns (Court Cases) - A man raped a woman in Stevenage (Hertfordshire) whilst he was armed with an imitation gun and will serve at least five years in jail.

  • Imitation guns were used by men who committed robberies in:

    • Blackpool - a robber who was armed with an imitation handgun when he got trapped in a bank has been jailed for six years and four months

    • Glasgow - a man has been jailed for five years after carrying an imitation gun in one of two raids on bookmakers

    • Northamptonshire - three men received long prison sentences for a series of shop robberies, during one of which a teenager was injured with a shot from a BB gun

    • Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire - a man who robbed council offices in Eastwood and bookmakers in Heanor and Skegness whilst armed with an imitation gun has been jailed for nine years

  • A man who threatened a car dealer with an imitation handgun in Rhyl (North Wales) has been sentenced to three years youth custody.  A woman who made a threat to kill her husband's mistress whilst armed with an imitation pistol in Rugeley (Staffordshire) has been given a three year community order.

  • A man, who is now the subject of a Hospital Order, was found guilty of being in possession of a sawn-off shotgun after being charged with possessing an imitation firearm and ammunition: the weapon was produced when police called at his home in Brierley Hill (West Midlands).

  • A man pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm after being caught with a loaded pistol in Risley (Warrington): he was given a 6-month suspended jail sentence and a 12-month supervision order.

  • Six members of a gang which caused thousands of pounds of damage to cars in drive-by shootings in Oxfordshire (Witney, Carterton, Eynsham) using a ball bearing gun have all been given community orders of between 40 hours and 100 hours.

  • A 15-year-old from Royston (Hertfordshire) has been given a two-year ASBO which prevents him, among other things, from being in possession of any BB gun, soft air pellet gun or imitation weapon in a public place.

 

 

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GUN INCIDENTS 2014

October Incidents

October Sentences

September Incidents

September Sentences

September Review

August Incidents/Sentences

February Incidents

February Sentences

January Incidents

January Sentences

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2013

December Incidents

December Sentences

Nov/December Review

November Incidents

November Sentences

October Incidents

October Sentences

October Review

September Incidents

September Sentences

September Review

August Incidents

August Sentences

August Review

July Incidents

July Sentences

June Incidents

June Sentences

June Review

May Incidents

May Sentences

April/May Review

April Incidents

April Sentences

March Incidents

March Sentences

March Review

February Incidents

February Sentences

February Review

January Incidents

January Sentences

January Review

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2012

December Incidents

December Sentences

November Incidents

November Sentences

October/November Review

October Incidents

October Sentences

September Incidents

September Sentences

September Review

August Incidents

August Sentences

August Review

July Incidents

July Sentences

June Incidents

June Sentences

June Review

May Incidents

May Sentences

April/May Review

April Incidents

April Sentences

March Incidents

March Sentences

March Review

February Incidents

February Sentences

February Review

January Incidents

January Sentences

January Review

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2011

December Incidents

November Incidents

November Sentences

November Review

October Incidents

October Sentences

October Review

September Incidents

September Sentences

September Review

August Incidents

July Incidents

July Sentences

July Review

June Incidents

June Review

May Incidents

May Review

March Incidents

March Review

February Incidents

February Review

January Incidents

January Review

 

GUN INCIDENTS 2010

December Incidents

December Review

November Incidents

November Review

October Incidents

October Review

September Incidents

September Review

August Incidents

August Review

July Incidents

July Review

June Incidents

June Review

May Incidents

May Review

April Incidents

April Review

March Incidents

March Review

February Incidents

February Summary

January Incidents

January Summary

 

PREVIOUS INCIDENTS

2009 Incidents

2009 Summaries

2008 Incidents

2008 Summaries

2007 Incidents

2007 Summaries

2006 Incidents

2006 Summaries

2005 Incidents

2005 Summaries

2004 Incidents

2004 Summaries

(Sept - Dec)

2003 Incidents

2002 Incidents

2001 Incidents

 

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