THE number of firearms offences in Scotland has fallen to a record low, according to official statistics.

Figures published by the Scottish Government show that a total of 348 offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved were recorded by police during 2017/2018.

It represents the lowest number of offences than in any other year since current data collection began in 1980.

Over the period for 2017/18, 36 per cent of offences took place in a dwelling, with a fifth happening in the street. A total of eight per cent meanwhile took place in a shop.

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Of the perpetrators of offences, almost all were male, with an average age of 28.

An air weapon was the most commonly used firearm, with just over half of the offences attributed to the use of one as opposed to a real firearm.

Use of a pistol/revolver made up 17 per cent of the total number of offences, with imitation firearms comprising 13 per cent and shotguns with 11 per cent of the total.

Offences using a rifle made up four per cent of the statistics.

The latest statistics also highlight a fall from 350 offences recorded over 2016/ 2017 and a total of 402 offences in 2015/2016.