West Midlands Police is joining the national Firearm Surrender and urging members of the public to hand in firearms to save lives.
The National Firearms Surrender will run from 12th May until 29th May and is being supported by 42 police forces in England and Wales.
Anyone wishing to surrender a firearm, ammunition can do so by taking it to a local police station and handing it in to officers. The surrender is anonymous and people will not face prosecution for possessing the weapon if they hand it in during the campaign period.
The surrendered firearms in rare cases may be examined by forensic experts to check if they have been used in crime. Any weapons that are found to have been used in crime will be subject to further investigation.
Speaking about the surrender campaign, DCC Helen McMillan, NPCC Lead for the Criminal Use of Firearms, said: “So the surrender takes place for two weeks from the 12th of May this year.
“It involves 42 of the 43 forces in England and Wales. And we’re hoping the purpose of it will be that people who hold a firearm that they no longer want - that they’ll surrender that weapon into their local police force, and that we can take any weapons out of circulation. And that prevents them from falling into criminal hands.
“It would be an absolute tragedy for one person to suffer at the hands of an illegal weapon. And over the last few years, we’ve literally removed thousands of weapons from circulation that might have fallen into the hands of a criminal. Gun crime is horrendous, absolutely destroys communities and it destroys lives.”
Gregg Taylor, NABIS Ballistic Expert, said: “What we will do is we’ll look at what’s been recovered, and there may be some weapons in there that we know is typically the sort of types that we’re looking for that have been used in or potentially used in crime. So we may look at the back record story of that weapon.
“So that’s where the forensic element comes in. But that’s on a very select few weapons dependent on what’s been recovered from the entire surrender.
“So we’ve got a few items here just to highlight what we typically see. Something like this, which could be a World War Two revolver, brought back maybe as a trophy. We see fair numbers of these dating back from World War One or even earlier than that - particularly World War One World War Two being brought back as a trophy, put into the loft. And you know, it’s been sitting there for decades.”
“So we’ve got an opportunity here from the 12th of May onwards for two weeks as part of the surrender. If you’ve got any weapons like this that are lying around the house, surrender them to the police”
Anyone with information about the illegal use of firearms is urged to contact their local police force or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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