A NEW report into gun crime in Scotland has shown that while it is in decline, the Lothian and Borders force still had to deal with the highest rate of firearm-related vandalism in the country.
The report, published this week by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, shows that the force recorded 12 vandalism offences involving guns in the last year, a figure twice as high as any other region.
In addition, Lothian and Borders Police responded to 26 incidents of reckless behaviour with a firearm, and 18 of robbery involving a firearm. In all, 156 offences were recorded where a firearm was alleged to have been used.
Across Scotland as a whole, the rate of gun crime fell 21 per cent in the last year, to a level less than half of that in 2006/7.
However, figures from the report show an increase in offences involving air weapons over the same period.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill welcomed the report, saying: “The message appears to be getting across that guns put lives at risk and anyone caught using them will be punished.
“This is complemented by great detection, educational and preventative work done day in, day out, by our police officers across Scotland to make our communities safer.”