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Police in gun appeal

Police are appealing for people to hand in unwanted guns during a two-week surrender of firearms and ammunition, that started on July 20 and runs to Sunday, August 4; in that fortnight, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.

The national lead, Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan from Northumbria Police said: “In 2017 the national surrender achieved a fantastic set of results with thousands of weapons and ammunition taken off the streets. I want the people in our communities to know the fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.”

The last surrender in November 2017 saw in the Northumbria force area a total of 280 weapons recovered plus a large quantity of ammunition. Of those 280, 131 were described as ‘viable’ firearms which included six pistols, eight revolvers, 22 rifles and 92 shotguns. A Taser, flare, five antique weapons and three machine guns were also surrendered.

Although North Yorkshire Police say offences linked to firearms are extremely rare in York and North Yorkshire, many such weapons are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality – or are simply overlooked and forgotten in homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate.

Police say that the surrender gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition by simply taking them to a local police station and handing them over. Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed 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.

Inspector Jon Naughton, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “We use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands – but we need the public’s help. We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to hand them in.

“It’s important to emphasise that offences linked to firearms are very rare in North Yorkshire. However, if you know where a weapon is being kept illegally, now is your chance to give up the gun, or tell us anonymously where it is. You will not be prosecuted and you could save a life.”


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