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National firearms surrender to be launched

West Mercia Police will be part of Safer People - a National firearms surrender - to be launched on Saturday July 20th

West Mercia Police is appealing for the public to hand over any unwanted firearms as part of a national two week surrender of firearms and ammunition. This initiative is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS). The surrender will run for two weeks from Saturday the 20th of July to Sunday the 4th of August 2019.

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 taking it to a local designated police station and handing it in.

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 the illegal possession - at the point of surrender - and can remain anonymous if they choose to.

Guns and ammunition can be surrendered at designated police stations across the UK but anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender is advised to check the opening times of their local station in advance by calling 101 or visiting their local force website.

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.

During the last national firearms surrender in 2017, more than 9,500 items were handed in to police. These included hand guns, rifles, shotguns, so-called 'antique' (obsolete calibre) guns and imitation firearms, as well as ammunition. Shotguns were the most popular firearms handed in and accounted for 59% of the total surrendered.

Most of the items handed in were destroyed but a few unusual items were retained for the National Ballistics Intelligence Service firearms reference collection or museums. Some items were discovered in lofts or garden sheds; perhaps family heirlooms or 'trophies' of war.

NABIS is working with Police forces and partners, such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force, to ensure the surrender campaign is a success.

The Home Office has also lent its support to the campaign, which ties in with the important work going on as part of the Serious Violence Strategy to tackle crimes such as knife crime and gun offences.

If you know of anyone involved with illegal firearms call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111. Advice and support for young people is available @fearlessORG www.fearlessorg

If you are a licensed firearm holder who wants advice please contact 101.

For more information about NABIS visit www.nabis.police.uk or follow us on Twitter @NABIS_UK #gunsurrender

You can email the Safer Neighbourhood Team at sa.snt@westmercia.pnn.police.uk  , but be aware that this email address should not be used to report an incident that requires an urgent Police answer as it is not monitored 24 hours a day.


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