FIREARMS discharges in West Yorkshire reached their lowest level in five years amid the Covid-19 pandemic, new police figures have suggested.

From April 2020 to March 2021 there were 23 firearms discharges reported in the county, West Yorkshire Police says, which was down from 42 the year before and was less than half the figure from five years ago.

In the same period, 280 firearms were recovered by West Yorkshire Police, which was up from 228 the previous year, and up from 102 in 2015-2016.

Detective Superintendent Carl Galvin, Head of Serious and Organised Crime, said: “Precision, our approach to tackling serious and organised crime, relies heavily on both partners and the public. In this way we can do all we can to try and deter those on the fringes of criminality and target those who choose to commit it.

“I want to thank our partners and the public who have been integral in identifying and disrupting serious criminality. By preventing those who would use weapons to cause fear and harm from having access to firearms, we are making West Yorkshire a safer place for everyone."

Detective Chief Inspector Fiona Gaffney, of West Yorkshire Police’s Programme Precision, said: “Any use of a firearm has the potential to kill or serious injure someone, to damage property or cause fear and concern in the wider community. 

“This isn’t acceptable, and we investigate every use of a firearm to make sure the weapon is recovered and taken off the streets and that those involved are convicted.

“The public have a key part to play in helping us keep your family, friends and the wider public safe.

"If you have any information, no matter how small, please contact the police on 101, or via Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555111.”