Gun crime shoots up by 90pc across Humberside Police area

GUN crime has shown a massive increase across the Humberside Police area, with a near 90 per cent increase over the last year, new figures show.

In a snapshot of the force's performance comparing two months in 2009 with the corresponding period year, the number of recorded firearms offences rose by 88.9 per cent.

In total, there were nine gun crimes between April and May 2009, rising to 17 over the same period in 2010.

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Of the force's four divisions, the biggest increases were in North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire – which both saw increases of 400 per cent – although the actual number of incidents was relatively small, with divisional totals of five and four respectively.

In Hull there were five recorded gun crimes between April and May this year, one more than over the same period in 2009, a rise of 25 per cent.

The East Riding was the only division which saw gun crime fall, down to three over the sample two months this year from the four in 2009.

A report giving an overview of the force's performance, due to go before its watchdog Humberside Police Authority next Tuesday, shows there were 11 firearms offences in April this year alone, compared with just one in April 2009. Of those 11 offences, seven related to ball -bearing guns or imitation firearms, three related to air guns and one concerned the threatened use of a taser, or electronic stun gun.

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A spokesman for Humberside Police said: "The Humberside Police area doesn't have an issue with gun crime and incidents are still very rare, despite figures for April and May showing an increase of eight incidents rising to 17 reported over the two-month period.

"In the majority of cases these relate to imitation firearms being used in a public place, which is illegal with a maximum penalty for offences of up to 12 months in prison."

In relation to other crime, although the number of domestic burglaries increased by 3.3 per cent, the figures do show some success for the force.

Overall crime fell by nearly 13 per cent, with a total of 13,367 recorded incidents between April and May this year, down from the total of 15,343 over the same two months in 2009.

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Theft of motor vehicles fell by 23 per cent, theft from vehicles by more than 16 per cent, and there were 8.2 per cent fewer robberies.

There were mixed results for sanction detection rates, which are the percentage of crimes for which someone is charged, summoned, cautioned or is subject to some other formal sanction.

On the plus side, sanction detection rates were up by 24 per cent for racially and religiously aggravated crime, which will be of encouragement following the force's recent launch of a new initiative to tackle hate crime.

Sanction detection rates were up by 13.6 per cent for robbery, up seven per cent for serious sex offences and up five per cent for serious violent crime. There were small increases in rates for minor assaults (up 1.1 per cent), and commercial burglaries (up 0.3 per cent).

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Another positive was a fall in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads.

There were 489 deaths or serious injuries on the roads between April and May last year, compared to 458 in the corresponding period in 2010 – a fall of 6.3 per cent.

The report shows the force is some way off its target for the value of its cash forfeiture and confiscation orders, however.

A total of 13 confiscation orders were obtained in April and May last year, which with cash forfeitures were worth a combined 249,319.

The force obtained 16 confiscation orders over the period this year, worth 99,685 – a 60 per cent drop and well below the target of 415,510.