The Sun: Crime up as armed cops cut

Wednesday, 26 December, 2007

The number of armed police on patrol has fallen -despite a RISE in deadly gun culture, figures reveal today.

There are 154 fewer trained gun cops than there were a decade ago, according to Home Office statistics.

But the number of criminals convicted of having firearms is up 43 per cent.

Police figures also show an 11 per cent rise in the number of gun crimes.

Shadow Minister for Police Reform David Ruffley said: "Poor ministerial planning means police officers are being thrown into gun hotspots without being properly equipped."

A firearm offence was committed every hour in England and Wales last year.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is under huge pressure to ensure there are enough trained firearms officers.