Police fail to find any guns stolen in Stevenage and North Herts last four years
- Credit: Archant
None of the firearms reported stolen in Stevenage and North Herts in the last four years have been recovered, we can reveal.
Since 2010, 33 weapons have been stolen from addresses across the area.
They include a rifle, eight shotguns, 11 air rifles and several imitation and deactivated weapons and BB guns.
In the most recent theft two shotguns and a rifle were stolen from an address in Hitchin in December.
Gun Control Network campaigner Chrissie Hall thinks the process of getting a licence and the current rules on the proper storage of air weapons aren’t strict enough.
She said: “The system is completely failing to protect people. The rules aren’t strict enough, especially with air weapons.
“You don’t need to have a licence to buy one and people leave them in sheds and garages, which is why so many get pinched.
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“They’re seen as children’s weapons because you don’t need a licence, but they kill and hurt people every year.”
The government changed the rules on storing air weapons in 2011 meaning owners now have to take reasonable precautions to prevent under 18s gaining access to them – but Chrissie thinks this doesn’t go far enough. She said: “We have never campaigned for an outright ban but we want there to be stricter rules so we’re all safer.”
Criminal Justice Department manager Carol Ward said: “We have taken significant steps in reducing the number of unregistered firearms in the county, including holding a firearms amnesty in the last three months.”
She added: “The firearms licensing unit keeps detailed records of all firearms held in the county and makes regular checks on registered owners, including on how firearms are being stored.
“Very rarely legal firearms can be lost or stolen and Hertfordshire Constabulary take this very seriously and all steps are taken to recover these.”