Firearms seized in ongoing crackdown against serious and organised crime
7th April 2020
Over 225 firearms were seized by West Yorkshire Police over the last year in the ongoing crackdown on serious and organised crime.
The Force seized a total of 228 firearms - an increase of 100 from the previous year.
At the same time the number of firearms discharges fell by 9 to 42 when compared to the previous year.
Programme Precision launched in early 2019, which seeks to make the fight against serious and organised crime a police and partnership responsibility, has helped to focus and coordinate activity across the four areas of the Government strategy – Pursue, Protect, Prepare and Prevent.
Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Twiggs from the Protective Services Crime Command oversees the force response to organised crime:
“Programme Precision has enabled us to make the fight against serious and organised crime everyone’s business. Illegal firearms are a real threat to the safety of the communities we serve and we are doing everything we can to remove that menace from the streets of West Yorkshire.”
“The reductions we have seen in the last 12 months and the increase in the seizure of firearms is a testament to the hard work of officers and staff across the whole force, and the very valuable work being undertaken by our partners.”
“These efforts are clearly having an impact but we will never stop in our pursuit of those involved in this type of serious criminality.”
Det Chief Supt Twiggs added:
“Programme Precision brings various partners together to recognise that crime has changed and so have those who commit it. Therefore we must change too.
“Although Precision is relatively new it is clear it is helping make a difference to the communities we serve.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “I fully support the work of Programme Precision which is a wider partnership response to serious organised and violent crime, and it’s good to see the progress being made.
“I not only invested significantly in Programme Precision but have also funded many West Yorkshire grassroots projects through my Safer Communities Fund (SCF) to help tackle serious and violent crime. This is further supported by the recent launch of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) which focuses on early intervention and prevention in diverting young people in particular away from a life of serious and violent crime.
“This targeted operational law enforcement work, and the ongoing seizures of firearms and other weapons, combined with the early intervention work, is directly resulting in making our communities safer. Those found to be committing and involved in this sort of harmful criminality will be dealt with robustly and appropriately to get them and such weapons off the streets of West Yorkshire.”