Bedfordshire Police are taking part in a national campaign to get unwanted guns and ammunition off our streets by asking people to hand them in, without fear of prosecution.
Chief Superintendent Catherine Akehurst, Firearms Surrender Campaign Lead for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces, said: “We are pleased to be supporting this important national campaign which is an opportunity to dispose of weapons safely and with peace of mind.
“Any firearm in the wrong hands can have a devastating impact. If you or a family member has an illegal or unwanted firearm please take this opportunity to hand it in to the police.”
Anyone handing in guns or ammo so during the two-week amnesty, which runs from 20 July to 4 August, would not face prosecution for possession of a weapon at the point of surrender.
However, if the weapons handed in are later found to be linked to criminal activity, there will be a separate investigation with appropriate action taken if necessary.
Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent David Boyle for Bedfordshire Police, added: “Last year, we were able to jail two men, for life and 20 years respectively, who were responsible for importing and modifying dozens of blank handguns and blank ammunition to make them live.
“This case shows what can happen if weapons, even if they are blank, fall into the wrong hands.
“Therefore it’s really important that people surrender unwanted firearms and ammunition so they can’t be used to cause harm to others.
“We are pleased to support this campaign, and I hope it encourages people to surrender unwanted firearms that they don’t know what to do with.
“However, to those who use firearms to threaten or cause harm to our communities, I’d like to send a strong message that our Boson team, dedicated to tackling gun and gang activity, will continue to pursue you and bring you to justice.”
The national firearms surrender campaign is being coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).
“Even though UK firearm offences remain at relatively low levels compared to other countries, we cannot be complacent and this surrender will help remove further potential harm from our communities,” said Head of NABIS, Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Clews.
Members of the public also wishing to own a firearm legally can call 101 to find out more about getting the appropriate licences.
If you suspect anyone is involved with illegal firearms call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Advice and support for young people is also available through Fearless.Org.