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PCC Vera Baird ‘youth gun crime is not currently an issue in Northumbria’

31st March 2016

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, has stressed that tackling youth gun crime remains a top priority for her officers following national reports this week that British police forces arrested 1,549 children, some as young as 10, for suspected firearms offences between 2013 and 2016.

Figures from Northumbria Police show eight boys were arrested for suspected firearm offences in 2015, compared with five in 2014 and 25 in 2013.

PCC Vera Baird, said: “In recent years we have seen a significant drop in the number of 11 to 18 year olds arrested for a fire arms offence and I am determined to make sure Northumbria Police continues to do everything it can to keep these figures down.

“We’re fortunate that Northumbria is one of the safest places in the country in which to live and incidents like this are rare. However, we must not be complacent – reducing the number of guns on our streets and preventing youth crime must remain top priorities. Keeping officers on the beat in our local neighbourhoods to engage with the younger communities is essential in tackling gun crime and keeping us all safe.

“All reports will be taken seriously. Replica firearms such as toys or even gun-shaped phone cases can be mistaken for real firearms causing false alarm and frightening people – great caution is needed as police will respond if they suspects any threat to the safety of the public. I urge local residents to continue supporting officers to ensure dangerous weapons don’t get into the wrong hands.”