Gun crime in West Midlands at highest rate in country

The West Midlands has the highest rate of gun crime in England and Wales, according to official figures.

Police at the scene of a recent incident in the West Midlands where a young boy was shot in the back
Police at the scene of a recent incident in the West Midlands where a young boy was shot in the back

In the year to March West Midlands Police recorded 721 crimes involving firearms – taking the total number dealt with dealt with since records began in 2007-08 to almost 10,000.

The Home Office figures show there were 25 firearm offences for every 100,000 people in the West Midlands policing area in 2020-21, up from 24 the year before and the highest rate in England and Wales.

Police chiefs said today that work was ongoing to clampdown on gun crime and protect people from its "terrible consequences".

The incidents include a number of murders that have rocked the region, including Will Henry and Brian McIntosh, who were shot to death in Brierley Hill in September 2020.

In all, weapons including shotguns and handguns were fired 270 times in incidents recorded by the force over the last year.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, said gun crime was a matter for "serious concern" and called for more funding to address the issue.

Staffordshire Police recorded 50 gun crimes last year and has dealt with 781 since 2007-08.

Nationally, more than 1,000 people were injured and dozens died as a result of gun crime in 2020-21, when forces in England and Wales tackled 5,700 firearms offences.

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