A two-week firearms “surrender” is being launched in Harborough and across Leicestershire from this Thursday (May 12).
The police are urging people to hand in illegal, unwanted and unlicensed firearms and ammunition at Market Harborough police station as well as at other stations in the county during the fortnight’s initiative.
Running until Sunday May 29, the special scheme gives people the chance to dispose of firearms safely – along with stun guns, Tasers and CS spray.
The campaign is being spearheaded by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) with forces all over the UK taking part.
“The surrender is not an amnesty and therefore, the force may investigate any offences which have occurred prior to the items surrender.
“Communities should be reassured that officers will continue to vigorously investigate offences linked to any firearm they receive to combat gun crime,” said Leicestershire Police today.
“Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their legality and are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes.
“Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to threaten or harm local communities,” added police.
“The surrender gives members of the public the chance to dispose of a firearm or ammunition by simply taking it to a local designated police station and handing it in.”
Ch Insp Cara Guest-Moore, Specialist Support Operations Support Tactical Dogs and Firearms, said: “The campaign to surrender 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.
“Firearms can be inherited through various ways – many are handed down through family or found in lofts or sheds, gathering dust and forgotten about.
“However, this surrender gives the public the opportunity to hand in any unwanted, unlicensed or illegal firearms,” said Ch Insp Guest-Moore.
“This way they can be confident they have been disposed of safely.”
Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon said: “One weapon off the streets is one less that can fall into the wrong hands and be used to harm or threaten our communities.
“As a police force, we use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands, but this is an opportunity for the public to help us.
“The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.”
You will be able to surrender firearms at Market Harborough police station on Fairfield Road between 10am and 4pm from Monday - Friday.
“Illegal possession of a firearm such as a hand gun or shotgun can mean five years behind bars and if you are found guilty of possession with intent to supply that can lead to a life sentence.
If you know of anyone involved with illegal firearms call police on 101 or Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111,” said police.
If you are a licensed firearm holder who wants advice please contact Leicestershire Police at: https://www.leics.police.uk/ar/applyregister/fao/adf/contact-fal/