North Yorkshire Police is joining forces across the country in appealing for people to hand in unwanted guns with a two-week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting today.
Although 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 people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.
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.
The surrender will run from 20 July until 4 August 2019. 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.
During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.
Inspector Jon Naughton, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and our local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.
“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.”
PC Ciaran Conlon, an Authorised Firearms Officer at North Yorkshire Police, added: “One illegal weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities – here in North Yorkshire, or anywhere else in the country.”
Weapons and ammunition should be surrendered at police stations in Harrogate, Northallerton, Scarborough and York. Anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender is advised to check the opening times of their station by calling 101 or visiting www.northyorkshire.police.uk
If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.