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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 05:26 GMT 06:26 UK
Police chiefs warn of gun culture
By Bob Wylie
BBC Scotland's Investigations Correspondent

Guns and ammunition
Effort is needed to stop the spread of a gun culture, police say
Senior police officers in Scotland believe there is an emerging threat of the gun culture seen in London coming to Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

But they said lessons have been learned from the way shootings mushroomed in England, in particular the need to stop young men using firearms.

In the last few years in major cities in England and Wales, there has been a marked increase in the use of guns.

The rise in gun use in street violence has been connected to drug crime.

London, Birmingham and Manchester are among areas that have been affected.

Police in Scotland have said there is now a concern that a growing gun culture down south could spread north, with Glasgow said to be a particular concern.

We need to learn our lessons from elsewhere in the UK
Steven Ward
Chief Superintendent

Chief Superintendent Steven Ward, of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, said police in Scotland need to use the experience gained by colleagues elsewhere in the UK.

"We don't have a problem with young men walking about the streets with a gun tucked down the waistband of their trousers," he said.

"But that is something that we have to police, we need to learn our lessons from elsewhere in the UK."

He added: "There has been horrendous problems elsewhere, communities have been blighted by young men in particular walking about with hand guns."

In recent months in the west of Scotland there have been special operations to stop the import of replica hand guns from Europe.

And late last year in the Gorbals in Glasgow a Jamaican crack cocaine gang was broken up and 12 of its members convicted.


SEE ALSO:
Fall in firearms offences
23 Sep 03  |  Scotland
Gun permits at all-time low
23 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Thousands of guns handed in
15 Jul 03  |  Scotland


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