Gangsters now routinely carry guns

Senior officers admit many of Yorkshire’s most serious organised crime gangs now have significant involvement in firearms, with members carrying lethal weapons for personal protection.

It is believed the guns are often smuggled into Britain from Eastern Europe and war-torn countries.

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In a high profile case in 2011, eight men were handed jail sentences totalling 100 years for a transatlantic firearms smuggling plot bringing lethal guns into Yorkshire from the United States.

The self-loading Glock pistols, normally used only by police, were hidden in hollowed out electrical goods shipped from Texas to Bradford, Leeds and Pontefract.

Earlier this year, Home Secretary Theresa May launched a consultation into strengthening Britain’s laws on illegal firearms.