Strathclyde Police have revealed that school children are among those carrying replica firearms. Of the 1,529 reported firearms incidents between January and June 2008, 85% of guns recovered were airguns, BB guns or replicas.
Young men in their teens were the biggest offenders, but officers report having found weapons in the schoolbags of younger children and a number of young girls were also carrying these weapons.
Assistant Chief Constable Jim Green said:
What worries me most is the age of people carrying these weapons.
Although mainly young males in their teens, it would appear those involved are getting increasingly younger with reports of schoolchildren carrying weapons in their school bags. Disturbingly, figures also show that young girls are now involved too.
This is incredibly alarming and action has to be taken. It is not just up to the police, parents need to know what their child is up to, who they are with and what they are doing.
Can you imagine what it would be like for a police officer to be involved in a shooting and find out that the weapon was an imitation firearm in the hands of a young person?