Gun crime has hit a ten-year high in the English counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, and West Yorkshire, despite strict gun control laws.
Local police forces for the four counties dealt with more firearms incidents in 2017-18 than in any year since 2007-08, according to the BBC.
The news comes as the National Crime Agency (NCA) — sometimes referred to as the British FBI — arrested four people in raids connected to an illegal gun factory in Diplocks Way industrial estate, Hailsham.
Police Net Dozens of Illegal Firearms Including AK-47 over a Month in 'Gun-Free' UK https://t.co/Tzvzxr1rWY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 2, 2019
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures cited by the BBC, non-air gun crime rose by 2 percent in 2018, and has been rising every year from 2014.
Increases over this period have been far more dramatic if particular localities are considered, rather than England and Wales as a whole — for example, a January 2018 report by the Police and Crime Committee of the London Assembly previously found that gun crime in Britain’s multicultural capital rose by 16 percent in the year to October 2017, and a full 44 percent in the three years since 2014.
The number of guns which are actually fired during crimes in the capital has also increased significantly, rising by a fifth between 2012 and 2017.
Firearm Discharged up to Every Six Hours in Gun-Free London https://t.co/CFnu5KcdtU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 29, 2018
Law enforcement believe the rise in firearms offences away from high diversity, low social cohesion urban centres in some counties — although not all — can be connected to so-called “county lines” crimes, named for the dedicated phone lines used by drug dealers and abusers to order illegal substances from gangs in more metropolitan areas.
In London alone around 4,000 teenagers are estimated as being exploited by criminals connected to county lines crime, according to the Children’s Society, with Crimestoppers noting that the relatively new phenomenon is “having a massive impact on rural counties”.
County networks have also been connected to child sexual exploitation in some British cities, such as Bradford.
County Lines Drug Dealing Networks Triple, Fuel Rise in London Crime https://t.co/uE7xTYF9oa
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 30, 2019