Public urged to hand in firearms in national surrender campaign
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We are taking part in a national campaign to reduce the number of unwanted firearms and ammunition that could potentially fall into criminal hands.
During the two-week campaign, which runs from today (Thursday, 12 May) to Sunday, 29 May, members of the public can surrender any unlicensed or unwanted firearms and ammunition to the police by calling 101 to organise an appointment.
Anyone handing over firearms or ammunition during the campaign will not face prosecution for possession of the weapon at the point of surrender.
They can also remain anonymous if preferred. However, any surrendered weapons found to be linked to criminal activity will be investigated and appropriate action taken.
Superintendent Mike Todd, Firearms Surrender Campaign Lead for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces, said: “It is really important to be part of this national campaign. Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Some are held legally and are no longer required.
“Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed, and illegal weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.
“The campaign is also an opportunity for members of the public to find out how to apply for certification to own a firearm legally.
“Previous surrender campaigns have been very successful. If you or a member of your family have a firearm or ammunition, we encourage you to use this opportunity to surrender it.”
The national firearms surrender campaign is being coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).
Detective Chief Inspector Katie Dounias, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “Campaigns such as this give the public the chance to safely dispose of a firearm in the knowledge that it will not fall into the wrong hands.
“We know that many firearms are legally held across the county, however it is vitally important that any unlicensed or unwanted firearms and ammunition are surrendered.
“Anyone submitting a firearm will not face prosecution for possession of the weapon at the point of surrender, and I would urge anyone in this situation to take the opportunity to hand it in.”