Number of guns seized in borough soars

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THE number of firearms seized by Doncaster police has risen by 40 per cent, it has been revealed.

In just one year, police confiscation of guns reached the rate of three a week.

Figures released under a Freedom of Information Act request show there were 106 such seizures in 2009 - but in 2010 the figure jumped to 151, a rise of 42 per cent.

A later Freedom of Information request for firearms figures for 2011 was refused by South Yorkshire Police on the grounds that the cost of compliance would exceed the appropriate limit because of the amount of information on its database.

Caroline Flint, MP for Don Valley, said she was concerned cuts in police numbers would put the public at greater risk of gun crime.

But police say the figures for 2009-10 should not cause undue alarm to the public because they cover firearms which would not be classed as lethal, such as replicas.

Superintendent Andy Kent, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “The term ‘firearms’ covers a variety of items, which include plastic replicas, pellet guns and ball bearing guns.

“The vast majority of such items seized in Doncaster fit into this category.”

Ms Flint said:“The numbers of weapons being seized is worrying, but it is all the more reason why we need to support the police to continue their important work tackling organised crime, gangs and seizing guns.

“I am very worried that the severe cuts in police numbers across South Yorkshire by the Government puts the public at a greater risk, and may undermine these vital policing operations.”