Insight - Editorial

Tina Orr Munro, EditorEditorial - May 2017

The UK already has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. Despite this, loopholes have persisted in the legislation which have been used to defend the criminal use of firearms, until now.

This month, sections 125 and 127 to 130 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 came into force. These sections have amended and created new sections in the Firearms Act 1968 which include amending the meaning of firearm, a new offence of possessing articles used to convert imitation firearms, and controls over defectively deactivated weapons and ammunition which expands on impact. Our legal adviser, Nicola Robinson, outlines the changes that have taken place (see p8).

undefinedThese are important changes. In the year ending 2015, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), imitation guns were used in 14 per cent of offences involving firearms, while in 11 per cent of offences the type of firearm was unidentified. Handguns remain the most popular firearm after air weapons, accounting for 26 per cent of offences.

It could be argued the new legislation has come at the right time as firearms offences, after a period of decline, have began to show an upturn, rising 13 per cent, according to the Office of National Statistics latest figures on crime (see p6).

Our second feature focuses on HMIC’s State of Policing report. Its publication led to an embarrassing gaffe by the report’s author, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor, when, during an interview, he declared response officers “took nothing home” at the end of their shift compared with detectives. This led to a swift apology. However, the report shows considerably more sympathy as it argues the service continually picks up the slack of other public service cuts (see p12).

News

Terror hotline attracts thousands of calls from the public p4

Young cyber criminals are motivated by peer respect, says NCA report p5

Crime statistics reflect better reporting, but also an increase in violent crime p6

National Crime Agency warns of dangerous heroin mix p7

Unexplained Wealth Orders set to become law p7

Features

Changes to firearms law p8
PNLD legal adviser Nicola Robinson gives an overview of the amendments to the Firearms Act 1968 that recently came into force under the Policing and Crime Act 2017

State of play p12
Syreeta Lund examines the annual State of Policing report by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Thomas Winsor

Plus

Police Policy & Practice p14
NPPF Step 2 Legal Exam (formerly OSPRE Part 1) Promotion Exams – Q&A p16
Police Career Opportunities p18
Legislation & Statutory Instruments p20
Case Law & Legal Queries p22

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