Children as young as 13 years old were among more than 30 youngsters arrested for suspected gun crimes across Lancashire in the last three years, it was revealed.
Some 13 children were arrested for suspected firearm offences in 2015, up from eight in 2014 and 11 in 2013, Lancashire Police said.
Firearms offences in the UK still account for less than 0.2 per cent of total recorded crime
The force said it found no records of charges being brought. A 13-year-old boy and three boys aged 12 received final warnings.
It had responded to a Freedom of Information request.
A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said: “Firearms offences in the UK still account for less than 0.2 per cent of total recorded crime.
“These offences reflect a broad range of crimes which can include air weapons or even possession of a BB gun if used in criminal circumstances.
“Forces across the country and community safety partnerships are working together to prevent young people getting involved in gangs and firearms.
“This is a key piece of work for all agencies and communities in breaking the cycle of young people becoming involved in gangs and the associated criminality.”
More than 1,500 child arrests for alleged firearm offences were carried out by police nationally between 2013 and January 2016.