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Leicestershire Police is appealing for people to hand in unwanted illegal firearms during a two week firearms surrender, starting on Saturday 20 July.
The surrender (Saturday 20 July – Sunday 4 August 2019) gives members of the public the opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted firearms and ammunition, as well as stun guns, Tasers and CS spray at a safe location where it will be taken for disposal.
The campaign is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) with many other forces across the UK taking part.
The surrender is not an amnesty and therefore Leicestershire Police may investigate any offences which have occurred prior to the items surrender. Communities should be reassured that officers will continue to vigorously investigate offences linked to any firearm they receive to combat gun crime.
Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to threaten or harm local communities. The surrender gives members of the public the chance to dispose of a firearm or ammunition by simply taking it to a local designated police station and handing it in.
Spokesperson for the surrender, Detective Inspector Helena Bhakta said: “Surrendering unwanted or illegal firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in crime and means that members of the community can dispose of them in a safe place.
“Firearms can be inherited through various ways - some can be handed down through family or found in lofts or sheds, gathering dust and forgotten about.
“During the campaign this summer you can hand in any unwanted or illegal firearms. This way you can be confident you have got rid of a firearm safely.”
Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon said: “One weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities.
“As a police force, we use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands, but this is an opportunity for the public to help us. The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.”
Firearms can be surrendered at the following designated police stations and local offices across Leicestershire:
Mansfield House Police Station, Leicester
Keyham Lane Police Station, Leicester
Market Harborough Police Station, Market Harborough
Melton Mowbray Police Station, Melton Mowbray
Braunstone Police Station, Leicester
Hinckley Police Station, Leicester
Wigston Police Station, Leicester
Beaumont Leys Police Station, Leicester
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.
If you know of anyone involved with illegal firearms call police on 101 or Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111. If you are a licensed firearm holder who wants advice please contact Leicestershire Police on 101.
For more information visit www.nabis.police.uk or www.twitter.com/NABIS_UK.