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Firearms: Seized Articles

Question for Home Office

UIN 221309, tabled on 20 January 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many illegal firearms were confiscated by UK customs officials at border checks in each of the last five years.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

27 January 2015

This government is doing more than any previous government to disrupt organised crime and protect the security of the border. Border Force was split from the failing UK Border Agency in 2012 and re-established security as the priority.

Border Force adopts an intelligence-led approach to all of its customs activity, including searching for firearms, so that resources can be deployed as effectively as possible. This work is a key aspect of the Government’s
approach to tackling organised crime and countering terrorism. The National Crime Agency and Border Force work tirelessly to target the criminal groups behind smuggling.

The most up to date figures for the number of illegal firearms seized is as follows:

YearNumber of firearms seized (units)
2013/14283
2012/13463
2011/12197
2010/1183

The numbers of firearms seized at the border fluctuates on a yearly basis. This can be attributed to a range of factors including the fact that organised crime groups regularly change which countries they seek to smuggle weapons into. Any
changes in the numbers of firearms seized at the border does not mean there has been a corresponding increase or decrease in the numbers that enter the UK after not being detected at the border.

Answered by

Home Office
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.