Police seize arsenal of weapons in Leith raid

Just some of the 210 weapons recovered by police in the Leith shop. Picture: contributed

Just some of the 210 weapons recovered by police in the Leith shop. Picture: contributed

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SHOTGUNS, swords and daggers were among weapons worth £40,000 seized from a Leith shop during a swoop by police.

Officers seized a total of 210 weapons after discovering the owner did not hold a licence to sell them. A 78-year-old man was charged with alleged licensing offences while the confiscated goods are now set to be destroyed.

Other weapons, including air guns, replica firearms, maces and morning stars, were removed following a search by police and trading standards officials.

A raid at a Royal Mile business in April saw £100,000 of weapons including samurai swords, broadswords and axes seized in the first part of the police crack down on the city’s weapons trade.

Chief Superintendent Mark Williams, the city’s divisional commander, said: “Bladed weapons and firearms are a blight on our communities and the items removed from this store have the potential to inflict serious harm on the public.

“All of these weapons should only be sold by vendors with the appropriate licence and anyone found to be trading without the necessary permissions can expect to be visited by police.”

The pensioner arrested during Thursday’s raid at the premises in the Leith area, which cannot be named for legal reasons, is being reported to the procurator fiscal.

Police chiefs have requested that the weapons be destroyed, although the ultimate decision will be made by the court.

Inspector Alun Williams, from the Divisional Violence Reduction Unit, said: “Officers visited this premises with trading standards colleagues and quickly identified that licencing terms were not being adhered to.

“In the main, if a person makes an application and meets the appropriate person tests and background checks then they’re likely to be given a licence.

“For whatever reason, some have not gone down that road.”

Leith councillor Gordon Munro said: “There will be few people in Edinburgh who genuinely need to own these kinds of weapons so they need to be properly licensed.

“Businesses should have nothing to fear about coming forward and being properly regulated, but it’s not a trade which can go unlicensed.”

Councillor Gavin Barrie, convener of the regulatory committee, said: “Anyone who wants to sell knives or similar bladed items must apply for a specific licence and it is vital for the safety of consumers and the community as a whole that this happens. These applications are then carefully considered by the police and the council.”