Statistics from a freedom of information request put to West Yorkshire Police by Examiner Live have shown that 193 incidents involving firearms have occurred within the district of Kirklees, West Yorkshire after a rise in shooting attacks over the past 3 years.
Police chiefs vowed in August 2017 that ‘gun crime will not be tolerated’ but were left challenged to act upon their vow quickly as 2017 turned out to be the worst year for gun crime in Kirklees to date.
A shocking 59 incidents occurred in 2017, leaving 27 people injured. Officers arrested 55 people in connection with these separate incidences but only managed to charge 10 individuals and of these only eight people were actually convicted and brought to justice.
The year before, 2016, witnessed 52 cases of firearm incidents leaving 23 people injured. Out of those cases 39 individuals were arrested but only 6 were convicted. And it was a similar story in 2015 which left 17 people injured and only 2 individuals convicted out of the 47 reported firearm incidences.
So far in 2018 there have been 36 reported firearm occurrences leaving 12 people injured, 28 individuals arrested but only 3 individuals charged.
As the official figures have not yet been released there have not been any convictions made just yet, however in July 2018, Examiner Live reported that Darcy White, from Southowram near Halifax was jailed for 10 years for his part in a shooting earlier on in February 2018. White was the getaway car driver who also, once arrested, refused to give up the name of the shooter.
Speaking to Examiner Live, Superintendent Marianne Huison, of Kirklees District Police, said: “The discharge of a firearm is a serious matter and investigations into these incidents are led by specialist detectives from West Yorkshire Police’s Firearms Prevent Team and at a local level by Kirklees’ crime team.”
Huison went on to reinforce the fact that a firearm will not have been discharged in all of these incidents and that it is also worth noting that the majority – around 60% – of the incidents were involving a ball bearing gun.
Ball baring guns typically cause fatal or serious injuries in rare cases where a person is shot at close range. Although, that is a very small consolation to the victim of such an attack or anybody caught up in the terror of such a situation.
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