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Police forces urge members of the public to hand in guns and ammunition as part of firearms surrender

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Local police forces are appealing to the public to hand in any unwanted, unlicensed or illegal guns during a national surrender of firearms and ammunition.

Thames Valley, Wiltshire and Hampshire Police are all taking part in the national scheme, which starts today (Thursday) and runs until Sunday, May 29.

During this period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegally possessing them at the point of surrender and can remain anonymous.

Residents are encouraged to hand in any guns (56641502)
Residents are encouraged to hand in any guns (56641502)

Many firearms are held in ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes.

Some firearms are held legally and are no longer required.

Other firearms are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.

The national surrender gives people the chance to hand in firearms and ammunition by simply taking them to a local police station.

Guns and ammunition can be surrendered at a front counter at designated police stations across the counties, including Newbury.

Anyone handing in a firearm or ammunition is advised to only visit the police stations listed on the police websites.

If individuals are unable to travel to a police station, or have concerns about transporting a firearm to a police front counter then they should contact police via 101 and arrange for the firearm to be collected.

Head of firearms at Thames Valley Police, Superintendent Gavin Wong, said: “The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and our local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.

“We use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands, but we also need the public’s help to ensure unwanted, unlicensed or illegal firearms are handed in.

“Thankfully, this type of crime remains low across the country, and the national surrender prevents firearms from falling into the pool of criminally used weapons.

“The surrender will allow people to hand in unwanted or illegal firearms and ammunition to the police. It will avoid these weapons getting into the wrong hands, and provide members of the community with a safe place to dispose of any firearms and ammunition they have, whether held lawfully or unlawfully.

“Legislative changes mean it is no longer legal in some cases to own specific firearms without a license, if at all. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that they meet the relevant ownership requirements.

“During the surrender members of the public are encouraged to take firearms into police stations and hand them over the front counter. The weapons will then be forensically examined and information sent for forensic examination where appropriate.

“One firearm off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities. We will use all of the powers and information available to us to locate any criminality and put a stop to it for good but we need your help.

“If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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