Gun crime dropped by 23 percent in Warwickshire in the 2013/14 financial year, according to recent government figures. However, the West Midlands area, which includes Coventry, has seen a rise between 2012/13 and 2013/14.
These statistics follow a reported sighting of a gunman on the University’s campus on Friday 20 March.
The statistics, published recently by the Office for National Statistics, show that the number of firearm offences in Warwickshire dropped from 52 in 2012/13 to just 40 in the last financial year.
This also represents a much larger reduction from 2007/8 where 107 offences were recorded.
Warwickshire police set out to further reduce firearms offences by holding a two-week firearms surrender campaign in autumn 2014, where 113 weapons were handed in to police stations across the area. 35 firearms were handed into Leamington Police Station.
Chief Superintendent Steve Cullen said: “These latest figures demonstrate our commitment to reducing gun crime and making the region a safer place to live.
“Gun crime ruins lives and tears communities apart and we will continue to tackle the problem and ensure people who are intent on committing such offences are brought to justice.”
However, the statistics also show that gun crime in the West Midlands and Coventry region, including the area surrounding the University, have increased by 7.6 percent.
499 offences were recorded in 2012/13, however, this had risen to 540 in 2013/14.
Yet, there was an overall decrease of 44.5 percent since 2007/08, where 947 firearm offences were recorded in the West Midland region.
Though the statistics show gun crime in the heavily student populated area of Leamington to have dropped, the increase in firearm offences in Coventry remains an issue.
The Coventry area is a popular choice for students of the University for student living due to its close location to campus.
Esther Jones, a first-year English student, said: “I’m not living in Coventry next year, but some of my flatmates are so the fact that gun crime is on the rise is quite worrying.
“I doubt that it’s a particular problem for the University though, otherwise much more would be being done about it.”
Marcel Schlepper, a first-year economics student, commented: “I’m not living in Coventry next year, so I don’t really mind. If there is less gun crime in Leamington, the area I’m living in next year, that’s fine.”
According to the West Midlands Police, the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) has been set up to reduce gun crime incidents.
NABIS uses evidence gathered from gun crime scenes to identify individuals who are in possession of or supplying firearms, and has also helped to organise campaigns for the surrender of firearms such as those that took place in Leamington and Coventry in November.
Chief Superintendent Cullen added: “We would urge the public to continue to support us and report any concerns or information they have around gun crime or people possessing firearms.”