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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 06:43 GMT
'Five-year penalty' for carrying gun
Sir John Stevens
Sir John Stevens was speaking at the MPA
People who carry guns should face at least five years in jail, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has said.

Sir John Stevens also told the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) that there should be a "tough policy" towards illegal firearms, similar to one enforced in New York in the mid-1980s.

His remarks follow a huge rise in the number of reported incidents involving firearms in London.

In the last quarter of this year, armed officers were called out 5,500 times - an increase of 38 per cent on the same period last year.

'Tough policy'

Sir John said: "There is a culture it seems, and there is evidence for this, that shows that a firearm when you carry it is just a fashion accessory.

"In the middle of the 1980s in New York there was introduced a very tough policy, a statutory five-year penalty for carrying a firearm.

"History will tell you it had some pretty severe effects on those carrying firearms.

"We believe there is some time now to look at that in relation to restricting people in the use of firearms."

The Commissioner told the MPA that despite London's 'gun culture' police were having an effect.

In September there were no black-on-black drug related murders and only one in August, compared with five in July.


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30 Oct 02 | England
01 Mar 02 | England
14 Feb 02 | Politics
17 Jan 02 | England
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