GWENT Police recorded the fewest incidents of gun and knife in Wales, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

In the period between April 2016 and March 2017, seven firearm offences – excluding air weapons – were recorded by officers – down on 15 from the previous year.

This compared to the other Welsh forces was – North Wales – 13; Dyfed-Powys – 16 and South Wales Police – 72.

In relation to knife and sharp instrument offences, 97 incidents were recorded by the force for the same time period, ahead of Dyfed-Powys – 102; North Wales – 234 and South Wales Police – 477.

Jeff Cuthbert , the police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, said: “The number one priority in my police and crime plan is to prevent crime and tackle crimes that present the greatest threat, harm and risk to people.

“Gwent Police are proactively going after these weapons and the service has worked hard on campaigns and operations to prevent knifes and firearms from falling into the wrong hands and being used on our streets as lethal weapons.

“In November last year, dozens of lethal firearms, including a machine gun from the Second World War, were handed to Gwent Police during a two-week amnesty.

“The service will also be running another knife amnesty next week alongside Operation Sceptre, a national campaign which aims to educate people about the dangers associated with knives.

“I also recently supported a successful campaign to change the law to ban the so called ‘Zombie Knives’ from sale.

“These weapons can have potentially devastating consequences and it’s important to stress that everyone has a responsibility for ensuring they don’t end up in the wrong hands.

“Whether it’s through education, peer pressure, policing or sentencing, it’s vital we all work together to change behaviours and make it absolutely clear that it’s never acceptable to carry these deadly weapons. The education cannot start too early.

“We want to make it clear that if you are found illegally in possession of a knife or firearm, you will be arrested, could be put before the court and brought to justice.”

The rate per 100,000 for each of these offences – firearm and knife and sharp instrument offences – for Gwent was one and 17 respectively.