(CMR) The RCIPS said there was an increase in firearm-related crimes in 2022, with 95 incidents recorded. A firearm was discharged in 26 of the offenses. Victims were shot and injured in 8, including three fatalities. Suspects have been identified in 55 crimes.
There were 58 Firearms Enabled Crimes, which means a firearm was seen or used in committing the offense in 2022 compared to 27 in 2021. The crimes involving a gun include murder, attempted murder, robbery, and drug offenses.
In 2022 there were four murders and six attempted murders. There were eight firearm-enabled violent severe crimes, including 3 of the 4 murders and 5 of the six attempted murders. There were 36 blade-enabled crimes in 2022 compared to 30 in 2021. Around 22% of serious violence was linked to licensed premises in 2022, including a firearm-enabled murder and blade-enabled attempted murder.
Throughout 2022, the RCIPS recovered 16 firearms, 15 handguns, and one shotgun. These recoveries were mainly due to proactive investigations or a reactive investigation to a recorded crime, the RCIPS said.
These figures include a handgun seized at Owen Roberts airport from a tourist. Approximately 370 rounds of ammunition were recovered or seized by police in 2022. The firearms and ammunition recovered do not include those handed in by the public for various reasons.
Compared to 2021, there was an increase of 128 (3.5%) crimes in 2022. but the RCIPS explained that the increases in recorded crime experienced in 2022, specifically related to acquisitive crime, were not completely unexpected given the return to the ‘new state of normal’ and the resultant increase in activity in the tourism and commercial sectors. Placed into context, the total recorded crime in 2022 in comparison to 2019 (before COVID) there has been a reduction of 327 (7.9%) crimes.
The primary area of concern over the course of 2022 was a general increase in firearm-enabled offenses compared to 2021 and two significant spikes in robbery offenses between March-April 22 and October-December 22.
In the final 10 weeks of 2022, 10 suspects were arrested in relation to robbery offenses, and a firearm plus ammunition was recovered.
While there was an increase in firearms crime, acquisitive crime, and other crimes in 2022 compared to 2021, the police said there were reductions in violence against the person, sexual offences, drugs, and public order offenses.