Britain has some of the world's toughest firearms laws. But still shootings and muggings soared by 90% between April and November 2001.
Armed street robberies rose from 435 to 667 last year, which is a rise of 53%. In London, there were 45,255 street robberies and snatches last year, an increase of 30%, compared to the 32,497 in 2000.
It is believed that up to half of all muggings are now for the trade in stolen mobile phones.