Hampshire Police appeal for any type of firearm and ammunition to be surrendered and make our communities safer
The Force is holding a two-week Firearms Surrender of firearms and ammunition starting between Thursday 12th May through to Sunday 29th May 2022.
Firearms legislation is regularly updated and the police are asking people to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to help avoid them getting into the wrong hands.
Many firearms may be held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or may be overlooked or forgotten in people’s homes. The Surrender gives holders the chance to dispose of the firearm or ammunition safely by taking it to a local police station and handing it in.
The Surrender will be held for two weeks. Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.
During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession at the point of surrender and they can remain anonymous. However, the history of each live firearm will be checked for evidence of its use in crime. We want to take out of circulation any type of firearm and ammunition and make our communities safer.
• Guns which can still be fired
• Antique or unwanted collectible weapons
• Trophies of war
• Replica weapons
• Air weapons
• BB guns
• Stun guns
• Ammunition, which is no longer required
Outside of the surrender period if police find you in possession of a firearm for which you do not have a license then you could receive a mandatory five-year prison sentence.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Storey, said: “We can be proud that gun crime in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight remains low and thankfully very rare. However, we are not complacent about gun crime, tackling serious violence is a Force priority and a firearms surrender works towards preventing crime and protecting the public; we want as many guns as possible to be handed in.
“Together with our partners we continually work hard to educate people about firearms and the dangers that come with them, to ensure that gun crime doesn’t become prevalent in the future.
“Firearms and ammunition can be surrendered at all of three of our Police Investigation Centre’s front offices based in Basingstoke, Portsmouth, Southampton and Newport (IOW) ; but anyone handing in a firearm, or a stun gun, during the Firearms Surrender is advised to check the opening times of their station from our website. To receive advice on how best to transport the weapon responsibly from home to the police station phone 101 before travelling.
“If you have even a shadow of doubt about the legality of a weapon or ammunition that you possess we urge you to hand it in during the surrender.
“If you know of people involved in illegal firearms activity call the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
“Every call to Crimestoppers is anonymous and potentially vital to preventing or solving serious crimes; removing an illegally held firearm may just save someone’s life.”
Q: What is a Firearms Surrender?
A: Firearms Surrender means people can hand in guns they should not have, without being prosecuted for having them. During a Surrender we want people to hand in:
If you have a firearm that falls into any of these categories, hand it in.
Q: When will the Firearms Surrender take place?
A: The Surrender will be in place from Wednesday 12th – Sunday 29th May 2022.
Q: Where can I hand in a firearm during the Surrender?
A: Firearms should be handed to police and front counter staff at designated stations. These are as follows:
Q: Why is the Firearms Surrender taking place now?
A: It has been three years since the last National Firearms Surrender and there have been a number of changes in firearms legislation in recent years which some members of the public may still be unaware of. The Surrender will raise awareness of the legislation change and allow the public to help the police reduce the threat from the availability of illegal firearms.
Q: Who does the Surrender affect?
A: Some people may be unaware of recent changes and how they affect them – the firearms may have been inherited by relatives or overlooked by elderly owners. This Surrender gives people the opportunity to dispose of these safely and without charge (at the point of surrender).
Q: Isn’t this letting criminals with firearms escape justice?
A: The force is committed to robustly investigating serious crime and protecting the public. The Firearms Surrender removes firearms from the streets, but does not prevent the police from investigating the background to any of the firearms handed in. Where there is evidence to follow up a prosecution the police will continue to do so.
Q: Does this mean that you have given up on tackling gun crime?
A: No, Gun crime in the UK is still one of the lowest in the world. This is as a result of continued efforts from the police and its partner agencies.
Q: How well is the force doing in combatting gun crime?
A: Stats are ok but they are misleading. When you examine the detail behind the statistics the actual confirmed gun incidents is very low.
Q: What are you doing to prevent an increase in gun crime?
A: We have a much greater understanding of this sort of crime thanks to partnership working. We understand better the potential triggers that can cause violence, we have an intervention strategy that aims to educate people around the dangers of firearms from a young age, provide alternatives to gangs, and we work hard on enforcement for those that insist on being involved in violent crime and illegal activity.
A: Communities hold the key to helping reduce firearm related crime.
A: We know that sometimes more people will share more information when there is a murder but we are working to gain trust and confidence so communities feel they can share and report any issues at any time.
Q: How will the Firearms Surrender help?
A: Every gun given up is one less that criminals can use.
Q: What about the rights of legal firearms holders during the Surrender?
A: The rights of legal firearms holders are unaffected. License-holders can be reassured that these measures merely enhance their rights and privileges to own firearms, by removing the dangerous ones from the wrong hands. They are also encouraged to use this Surrender to consider the surrender of firearms they may no longer have a use for.
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