Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Law & Order : Strathclyde Police gun seizures drop 60% on Chief Constable's annual targets

Strathclyde Police have apparently missed their targets on seizing guns & ammunition, which were some 60% below the numbers set by the Chief Constable, Steven House.

The Scotsman reports :

Gun seizures fall short of target

Published Date: 08 April 2009
By michael howie

SEIZURES of firearms by Scotland's biggest police force are running well below targets set by its chief constable, a new report reveals.

Steven House, head of Strathclyde Police, last year set a target to increase seizures of firearms and ammunition by more than a third – in response to a growing problem with gun crime connected to organised criminal gangs in the west of Scotland.

But a report to be discussed by the Strathclyde Joint Police Board tomorrow reveals that, between April and December, only 42 seizures were made – 60 per cent below the target of 106 for the whole year.

The police and the board have for the first time agreed to use a "traffic light" system to assess the force's performance against a range of targets.

The report gives the force a "green light" on the number of people caught carrying knives – 2,526 last year, 8.6 per cent above the target.

The force also hit its targets cutting robberies and solving more serious assaults.

But a "red light" is shown on catching people with other offensive weapons – which was 21.7 per cent below the target – and cutting domestic abuse attacks involving repeat offenders.

Councillor Paul Rooney, the board's convener, said: "Police authorities have a duty to monitor how well their force is achieving against the targets."

The report comes as Labour politicians call for a national knife amnesty to tackle the country's blades culture.

The party's justice spokesman, Richard Baker, called on Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to back an amnesty after a similar scheme ordered by Grampian Police netted more than 1,000 knives and other weapons.

A Scottish Government spokesman said it would support any measure that cuts knife crime.

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