11 year old charged with firearms offences in the West Midlands

Ian Cameron Swanson believes some children carry guns as a status symbol.

Eighty-three boys and one girl have been charged with firearm offences in the West Midlands since 2013, disturbing new figures show.

West Midlands Police said these included an 11-year-old boy in 2015, a 12-year-old boy in 2013 and eight boys aged 13.

The shock statistics were unveiled as national figures showed the the number of under-18s held for gun offences has soared 20 per cent in a year and police warn budget cuts will make the problem harder to tackle.

More than 1,500 kids – some just 10 – were arrested for suspected gun crimes in the past three years, figures reveal.

Figures released by forces under the Freedom of Information Act showed there were 1,549 arrests of children for suspected crimes involving firearms, air weapons or imitation guns, including 506 charges brought by police.

The Press Association sent Freedom of Information requests to every police force in the UK asking how many children were arrested and charged with firearms offences between 2013 and January 2016

West Midlands Police said it would cost too much to retrieve information on the number of children arrested for suspected firearm offences.

It said 17 children were charged in 2015, 32 in 2014 and 34 in 2013. One girl was charged with a firearm offence in 2013.

The brother of a fatal shooting victim said gangs were using children to carry guns to avoid detection.

Ian Cameron Swanston, whose 20-year-old brother Dorrie was shot dead in Hulme, Manchester in 1999, also believed some youngsters thought carrying guns gave them “status”.

Mr Swanston, who is a counsellor and trustee of the charity Mothers Against Violence, said: “The more guns within the community, the more likely it is we will see younger children getting access to them.


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