Helping Shape Your Future

Since 1986

Helping Shape Your Future

Since 1986

Personal Development theme EXTRA:

What is Gun Crime?

Liverpool shootings:
Are UK gun crimes on the rise again

Is the recent spate of fatal shootings in Merseyside and London a statistical blip, or the end of a period of success in the fight against gun crime?

The horrifying killing of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was the third death involving a gun in or around Liverpool this month. There were also three deaths in London in July and a fourth in August. It follows a period where guns appeared to be being kept off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.

A combination of factors including Covid lockdowns, intensive policing, and a breakthrough in the fight against organised crime were thought to be reducing firearms crimes overall. But there are very early signs that that might be changing, especially in Merseyside – where shots have been fired at houses, vehicles and people. A review of police statements detail men and women found with injuries in the street or turning up at hospitals with gunshot wounds. They were the lucky ones.

On the night of 16 August, 20-year-old Sam Rimmer was shot dead in a cul-de-sac in Dingle, close to the banks of the Mersey, as he walked with a group of friends.
Police have said his alleged attackers were two men who fired from motorbikes before riding off. Three men were arrested on Wednesday.

Then in the early hours of Sunday morning Ashley Dale, 28, was found by officers with gunshot wounds in a garden in the Old Swan neighbourhood of the city.

Police believe she was not the intended victim of the attack and the gunman is still on the run. They are trying to trace a car driven into Leinster Road 10 minutes before the shooting.

Olivia Pratt-Korbel was the third victim on Monday..

What counts as gun crime?

Gun violence is violence committed with the use of firearms, for example pistols, shotguns, assault rifles or machine guns.

The Liverpool picture

The rate is increasing, the facts in numbers – Exactly 15 years after the death of schoolboy Rhys Jones, Liverpool is again in the spotlight for gun crime in and around the city region.

For the public to stand together might be the only way to help stop this rise in knife crimes. By reporting illegal weapons, you can perhaps save the life of someone on the street. People addicted to drugs should also be reported or even helped as they can recover from their addiction and perhaps even be saved before they have to fatally stab someone in a last gasp for some drug money. It is much easier to control the crime and we don’t recommend taking the law into your own hands. You should only report these crimes and keep the authorities alerted and helping you stop the violence.

What can happen if you are caught carrying a gun?

If you’re caught illegally carrying a knife or a gun, even an imitation one, you will be arrested and prosecuted. It’s no excuse to say it was for your own protection or you were carrying it for someone else.

Remember – the law is clear – if you choose to carry a weapon, you put your future in danger. If you don’t take it with you, it won’t be used.


  • Carrying a knife or gun is illegal. 
  • Carrying a knife or gun increases your risk of being injured.
  • It also increases the risk of the people around you being injured, and can cause great distress and upset to your family.
  • Police are allowed to stop and search someone if they believe a weapon is being carried.
  • Having a criminal record could stop you gaining entry into your chosen college or university, getting a job and could place restrictions on you travelling to some countries like the United States of America.
  • It is illegal – they could ruin your life if you are caught, even if you never use the weapon.
  • You could go to jail for up to four years if you’re found in possession of a knife or five years for a gun, even if you’re carrying it for someone else.
  • In the worst case scenario, you could get life imprisonment for murder.
  • While walking away is often the hardest thing to do, it is the safest and won’t get you into trouble with the police

Don’t be in the dark about gun crime!

Below is where you’ll learn the facts about gun crime in black and white. Watch, then share with others so they aren’t left in the dark either.

What are the consequences of carrying a gun

Carrying a firearm in a public place

(a) a loaded shot gun

(b) an air weapon (whether loaded or not)

(c) any other firearm (whether loaded or not) together with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm

(d) an imitation firearm

Maximum: 7 years’ custody (12 months’ custody for imitation firearms, 6 months’ custody for an air weapon

What happens if you get caught with a gun?

What happens if you use a gun?

Training - Further information about knife crime for practitioners:

Training - Further information about gun crime for practitioners:

Gun Crime - News, views, gossip, pictures, video - Liverpool Echo