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Firearm thefts largely static

Firearm thefts largely static

Firearm thefts in Victoria have remained largely static for the past five years. Data obtained by SSAA Victoria last month shows a variation of 57 between the most thefts for one year, and the least.

Between April 2016 to March 2017, 760 firearms were reportedly stolen from Victorian households. It was down 53 on the previous year. The reduction in firearm thefts is, of course, pleasing to SSAA Victoria, which runs an education campaign on the safe storage of firearms.

The data obtained from Crime Statistics Agency suggested that 20 handguns – 15 “pistols” and five “revolvers” – were stolen between April 2016 to March 2017, along with 325 rifles and 220 shotguns.

Firearm type Apr 2012 – Mar 2013 Apr 2013 – Mar 2014 Apr 2014 – Mar 2015 Apr 2015 – Mar 2016 Apr 2016 – Mar 2017
Air Rifle 54 52 51 59 43
Gun 35 36 53 8 2
Imitat. Handgun 2 4 2 7 3
Imitat. Longarm 0 1 0 2 2
Imitation Gun 10 4 4 2 0
Other Firearm 19 8 15 73 145
Pistol 25 14 10 23 15
Revolver 11 3 8 14 5
Rifle 369 357 358 371 325
Shotgun 234 277 244 254 220
Grand Total 759 756 745 813 760

However, SSAA Victoria is concerned with the validity of the data, considering the type of firearm stolen was not recorded in 145 theft cases. Another two of the stolen firearms were only referred to as “guns”. It means 19 per cent of the firearms stolen were not identified.

SSAA Victoria is investigating the issue with data collection. When its investigation is complete, the Association will contact the relevant organisations to offer assistance in improving the methods of data collection and extrapolation. It will report back to members.