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Gun Troubles Come To The UK

  • September 4th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

uk-violence-1.jpgAn 11-year-old boy shot dead in a car park in Liverpool; three men killed in a family house north of London – gun violence has become a major problem in the United Kingdom.

Nevertheless an international survey has said the number of weapons in private possession in Britain remains one of the lowest in the world.

The study is last month’s Small Arms Survey from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, an annual international report on possession of firearms.

It says six-percent of civilians in England and Wales owned such a weapon in 2007, and compared to other countries that figure is fairly low.

America heads the list with 90 per 100 people possessing small arms while in other European countries such as France, Sweden and Austria 30 % of the population owns a firearm.

A TRAGIC DEATH

However gun crimes have frequently erupted in British news over the past weeks.

This Thursday (6.9.07) the funeral of 11-year-old Rhys Jones who was killed August 22 is to be held in Liverpool.

The boy was shot in the neck in a car park by an allegedly teenage culprit who escaped on a BMX bike.

According to the BBC sixteen people have been taken in for questioning in the past two weeks but all of the suspects were released.

In a vigil last Sunday members of the local community and the parents of the boy again made a public appeal for the killer to come forward.

Police believe the bullet that hit Rhys Jones was aimed at someone else, leaving a pub.

They suspect a 15-year-old ‘Croxteth Crew’ gang member fired at a 19-year-old rival from another gang.

DRUG SHOOTINGS

At the same time as police are searching for Rhys Jones’s killer, the alleged murders of a teenager, his father and a family friend were arrested.

Matthew Cowell, 17, his father Keith, 52, and Tony Dulieu, 33, were shot dead in Hertfordshire, North of London on Tuesday last week (28.8.07) by two gunmen entering the family home.

Two women understood to be Mr Cowell’s sister and Matthew Cowell’s girlfriend were seriously injured. A three-year-old girl also in the house was unharmed.

Police say the shooting was targeted and might be connected with drug dealing.

HARSH MEASURES

In the meantime a court in Cardiff has shown it doesn’t take jokes when it comes to firearms.

A man who pointed an imitation gun at a group of people and said “bang” started a two year prison sentence at the end of August.

Daniel David Luker, 25, said he had found the gun on a street in the city last May.

He then walked around town scaring people with it, including a car driver and his 14-year-old daughter.

Police later could not find the imitation gun but the defendant admitted to having possessed possession a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

He admitted his action had been “very stupid” and he had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Nina Plonka

References:

Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Small Arms Survey 2007: Kapitel 2 – Zusammenfassung

http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/files/sas/publications/year_b_pdf/2007/2007SAS_German_press_kit/2007SASCh2_summary_ger.pdf (4.9.07)

BBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/merseyside/6966730.stm (4.9.07)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/beds/bucks/herts/6973891.stm (4.9.07)

The Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gun/Story/0,,2160217,00.html (4.9.07)

Times Online.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article2364360.ece (4.9.07)

Picture: Many people expressed condolences to friends and family of Rhys Jones, a big fan of the Liverpool Football Club Everton.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20414668/

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