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14 November 2017, 11:18 | Opal Carroll
Credit Alex Malikov
Police in England and Wales have begun a two-week gun surrender in an attempt to reduce the number of firearms on the streets, after a 27 percent rise in gun crime in the United Kingdom previous year. "They also have the potential of being used against our own officers who could find themselves confronted with someone wielding a weapon in public".
"Any weapon has the potential to fall into the wrong hands, so each one surrendered is one less with the potential to cause a death or serious injury".
Sussex Police Detective Chief Inspector Steve Rayland said: "If you have any guns or ammunition you no longer want, or if you don't know what to do with them or how to safely dispose of them, we can help".
Members of the public are given the chance to surrender guns or other weapons safely by taking them to a police station.
Mums, sisters and girlfriends of boys and men who carry guns and knives are being handed in the weapons in a bid to save their lives.
"Our appeal is to mothers, daughters and girlfriends - you know where they are and I know you want to keep your loved ones safe", said Det Supt Jennings.
Following a rise in recorded firearms offences across the United Kingdom in 2017, the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) has asked all police forces in England, Scotland and Wales to take part in a national firearms surrender in November.
During the next two weeks (13th November - 26th November 2017) people can hand in their firearms and ammunition at any police station enquiry counter anonymously with no questions asked.
The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (Nabis) is coordinating the surrender initiative, and says that many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality, or are overlooked and forgotten in people's homes.
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Richard Kennett, firearms licensing manager for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, said the campaign had got off to a good start, with 14 guns already collected before lunchtime on Monday at police sites in Ipswich and Martlesham.
Police stations in the Thames Valley will be accepting former military weapons, unwanted firearms which were previously illegally owned, replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, antique guns, component parts and other ballistic items.
Nottinghamshire Police have launched a two-week "surrender period" for illegally-held guns and ammunition.
"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".
She said the use of weapons "will not be tolerated" and those carrying a gun or a knife 'should expect to be challenged, ' arrested and prosecuted.
"Similarly, possession of a knife carries up to a four-year sentence, with the risk of a lifetime in jail should you use it and fatally injure someone".
Launching the drive in the Northwest, Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, of Greater Manchester Police, said the public should be anxious about the supply of guns on the UK's streets.
Anyone needing advice on how best to transport the weapon or ammunition to their nearest police station should ring the force on 101.
Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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