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Grim arsenal being carried in the street
SAWN-OFF shotguns, axes, handguns and acid are among the weapons held by criminals in the city.
Police statistics show 633 weapons were used or held during crimes in Oxford alone between August 1 last year and July 31 this year.
The most common weapon was a knife, with 343 incidents recorded.
And the most crime involving weapons took place in Cowley with 94 cases, followed by Headington with 85, and Blackbird Leys with 78.
A sawn-off shotgun was involved in a Blackbird Leys crime in January, and another in Cowley in June.
And a handgun was involved in incidents in Cowley last November, and again in June in a location not recorded by police.
Acid was held as a weapon in Headington in September last year.
But last night police said incidents of gun crime were rare.
Ch Insp Dave Parker, from the Thames Valley Police firearms team, said: “The number of live firearms we recover are extremely low. The vast majority of firearms we see are imitations.
“I cannot recall a job where acid has been thrown at someone, the vast majority of weapons used are knives and blunt objects.”
He added: “Everyone has access to a knife at home.
“We do get a lot of jobs across the force where it’s a domestic incident and one partner has pulled a knife on the other.”
Police statistics show weapons were actually used in 438 crimes from August 1, 2011, to July 31, 2012.
The figure for the period in 2010/11 was 728, in 2009/10 it was 621, in 2008/09 it was 474, and in 2007/08 it was 360.
The number of criminals arrested for possession of a weapon was 92 in 2011/12, 83 the year before, 88 in 2009/10, 125 in 2008/09, and 155 in 2007/08.
Mr Parker said the firearms team gavepresentations to pupils at county schools to help cut weapon crime, adding: “The vast majority of crimes committed using weapons I would say are done by males in the 16 to 24 age group.
“That’s why we go into schools to try to educate them.”
Wood Farm resident Karis Daniels, whose brother Blayne Ridgway was stabbed to death in the city centre, said she was not surprised by the numbers.
The 26-year-old added: “This world is not getting any better, it’s getting worse.
“It’s not a safe place like once upon a time, but I don’t think Oxford should be singled out. Nowadays children are not getting raised properly.”
After her brother’s death in May 2010 she campaigned to tackle knife crime, but she said nothing had changed, adding: “Unless it has affected you personally people don’t realise how much of a problem it is.”
Weapons used/possessed/ discharged during an offence in Oxford between August 1, 2011, and July 31, 2012.
- Cowley – 94
- Headington – 85
- Blackbird Leys – 78
- Littlemore – 27
- Barton – 12
- Marston – Nine
- Cuttleslowe – Nine
- Wood Farm – Six
- Summertown – Six
- Osney Town – Three
- Risinghurst – Three
- Jericho – Three
- Binsey – One
- Iffley – One
The location of the remainder of the weapons crimes was not recorded by police
- Knife – 343
- Stone or missile – 44
- Bottle, glass – 37
- Cosh etc – 20
- Gas – Eight
- Axe – Six
- Stun gun – Three
- Handgun – Two
- Sawn-off shotgun – Two
The remainder of the weapons were classified as “other” by police
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