Written by RADio Newsdesk on August 5, 2019
Article Published on Monday August 5, 2019 3:03 PM by RADio Newsdesk
Seven firearms including a US Carbine .30, Browning Mod 8mm, a Cobra Starting Pistol and Mauser Pistol, as well as some ammunition, have already been handed in during the first few days of a national firearms surrender.
The surrender, which launched on Saturday, July 20, 2019, and will last until Sunday, August 4, 2019, is aiming to encourage people to hand in any firearms that may be in their possession.
During one prearranged collection of firearms, five guns, pictured, were handed in by a woman whose father had passed away several years ago and had owned the guns. They had only been discovered in the loft recently after a house clear-out.
Several further scheduled appointments have been made for firearm collections after people called 101 to dispose of the guns during the firearms surrender.
During the campaign, the public are being asked to call police on 101 to arrange an appointment at their convenience and at a location of their choice, to have officers come and collect the firearm.
Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to threaten or harm their local communities. The surrender gives the opportunity to dispose of a firearm or ammunition by simply arranging for an officer to collect it
The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) co-ordinated the
last national firearms surrender which took place in November 2017 and
was deemed a big success with thousands of potentially lethal items
prevented from getting into criminal hands.
This summer’s campaign has a particular focus on firearms, stun gun type devices and pepper sprays. Police want to highlight the danger of these items and remind people they are illegal in this country and could lead to a prison sentence for anyone caught in possession.
During the campaign period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession – at the point of surrender – and can remain anonymous if they choose to.
The firearms may, however be forensically examined to see if they have any links to other crimes.
Illegal possession of a firearm can mean five years behind bars and if you are found guilty of possession with intent to supply that can lead to a life sentence.
Superintendent Sarah Johnson, head of Operations at Northamptonshire Police, said: “I’m pleased that people are getting the message and have already started handing in items so that they can be disposed of appropriately.
“I would continue to remind people of the surrender and encourage anyone, who has weapons that they no longer need or have discovered, to call 101 and arrange for their collection.
“I would also appeal to those people who may be friends, family members, or partners of criminals, who may have been asked to conceal firearms. These people may believe that they won’t be arrested or prosecuted because it’s not their gun. This is not the case.
“If you are caught in possession of a firearm, you could be jailed for a minimum of five years.”
If you know of anyone in possession of an illegal firearm or involved in gun crime call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Figures for Northamptonshire show that gun crime has reduced by eight percent, with 170 crimes recorded between April 2018 and March 2019, compared with 185 crimes between April 2017 and March 2018.