Nottinghamshire Police are urging people to hand in illegal firearms.
A two-week firearms surrender has been launched by Nottinghamshire Police, starting on Monday 13 November 2017.
It has been three years since the last national firearms surrender, when forces across the country again asked members of the public to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to prevent them from getting into criminal hands.
Police say 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 members of the public the chance to dispose of a firearm or ammunition by taking it to a police station and handing it in.
During the last surrender in Nottinghamshire in 2014, a total of 232 firearms were recovered, as well as thousands of pieces of ammunition.
Nottinghamshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper said: “We’re looking to get weapons out of harms way, and into the police property store.
“What were not looking to do is get weapons from serious organised crime groups off the streets, that would be great if they can, but this is around people checking their lofts, understanding that their parents, their grandparents may have had some weapons that have previously been used in wars, used a trophies and this is a chance to hand them in.”
He added most of the weapons handed in during previous campaigns had been shotguns, rifles and airguns that had at one time been kept legally, but he warned that if these were stolen they could be adapted and used in crime.
Despite hundreds of weapons being handed in, Chief Constable Cooper said firearms criminality in Nottinghamshire is “extremely rare”.
He said: “I don’t expect to receive thousands of weapons, but I want people to think about what they’ve got in their loft, what they’ve got in their shed and what has been handed down through the generations.
Paddy Tipping said: “These are dangerous weapons, that shouldn’t be in somebodies possession, they could cause harm and we’re keen to have them and keep them out of harms way.”
Where can you hand in firearms?
The surrender initiative is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS). The surrender will run for two weeks from Monday 13 November to Sunday 26 November 2017 and during that period, in Nottinghamshire, guns and ammunition can be handed in at four designated police stations: Mansfield, Newark, Radford Road and Worksop.
Anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender in Nottinghamshire is advised to check the opening times of their station in advance by calling 101 or visiting the force website at www.nottinghamshire.police.uk.
If you have a firearm to surrender but cannot get to a designated police station during the surrender period, please call 101 for guidance.