'We cannot arrest our way out': Ten children in Northampton arrested with a firearm this year

In 2015 64 guns were seized compared to 125 firearms in 2018.
In 2015 64 guns were seized compared to 125 firearms in 2018.

Nearly 30 children have been arrested over a two year period in Northampton for having a firearm, a Chronicle & Echo investigation has found.

Since 2016, 29 children in this borough have been caught by Northamptonshire Police with a firearm and ten of those children were arrested this year.

Information obtained by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo in an FOI request reveals that 125 firearms have been seized so far in 2018, which is nearly twice the amount of guns taken off streets three years ago.

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman, said: "Gun and knife crime is a key strand of our Operation Viper work. As well as a proactive policing activity we have a strong partnership and early intervention plan to address the education and community elements of this threat to our communities.

“We are aware that some of our young people are being groomed into criminal activity by gangs and organised crime groups. To protect our young people we need more than just enforcement, we cannot arrest our way out.

“We need the support of our partners and communities to prevent gangs infiltrating further into our neighbourhoods, to protect our young people and prepare them so they understand the dangers of becoming involved with gangs.’’

However, statistics from previous years show that in 2017, 192 guns in Northampton were seized by Northamptonshire Police and in 2016, 181 firearms in the borough were taken off streets.

There are 12,715 firearm certificates held in Northamptonshire.