Guns and Ammunition Seized at UK Borders Treble in one Year

Seizures of ammunition and weapons at Britain’s borders almost trebled last year.

At air, rail and seaports, officials confiscated 110 real and 353 imitation firearms in twelve months. The Border Force also seized 5,849 “firearms-related” items, including pepper sprays and stun guns.

There was a total of 6,312 firearms and associated paraphernalia seized, representing a significant rise on the 2,299 items found in the previous 12 months, according to the latest Home Office statistics.

There was also a rise in the number of offensive weapons seized by Border Force, from 8,931 in 2015/16 to 10,935 in 2016/17.

A spokesman for the department told the Press Association: “The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world and we are determined to keep it that way.

“As well as making physical checks on arriving luggage and cargo, Border Force works with their fellow law enforcement agencies, using intelligence and advanced technology, to detect and stop dangerous weapons at the border.

“Our targeted operations and routine searches led to the seizure of over 10,000 offensive weapons last year.”

There are a number of legal requirements that need to be met to bring firearms into the UK lawfully, allowing for some shotguns and rifles to come in for recreation. Some replicas are also allowed in for films and theatre performances.

Last month, new Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed police recorded crimes for England and Wales had surged to over five million a year for the first time, representing a 13 per cent rise compared to the same period in 2016.

Violent crime increased even more sharply, with 1,229,260 offences of violence against the person, an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year.

There were 36,998 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, an increase of 26 per cent on the previous year, and 6,696 offences involving firearms, an increase of 27 per cent on the 12 months before.

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