No prosecution for possession to encourage #giveupyourgun
Londoners are being urged to hand in firearms and ammunition during a two-week 'surrender' scheme being launched by the Metropolitan Police Service.
The surrender will start at 07:00 hours on 10 November until 23:00 hours on 23 November and gives Londoners the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition, by taking it to a local police station and handing it in.
During that period, those surrendering firearms may not face prosecution for illegal possession and they can remain anonymous, however each live weapon will be forensically checked for evidence.
It is six years since the last firearms surrender in London. Again, we are asking Londoners to give up unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to help avoid them getting into the wrong hands.
A webpage publicising the surrender and featuring a map for users to check the location of their nearest police station has been placed on the Met's website - www.met.police.uk/giveupyourgun/
Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Haydon, Head of Trident Gang Crime Command, said: "In recent years we have seen significant reductions in gun crime offences - financial year 2013/14 was the lowest annual total in six years.
"Trident and firearms officers every day across London have contributed to these reductions, and last year 300 firearms were seized as a result of proactive operations. However we are not complacent, our primary aim is keeping Londoners safe, and we recognise the considerable and devastating impact of gun crime on those affected by it.
"The surrender provides an opportunity to significantly reduce the number of firearms in circulation on the streets of London.
"Trident has previously highlighted that some gang members have exploited a legislative loophole around antique firearms. Make no mistake, these are live weapons which can be used to hurt or injure someone. We have welcomed the tightening of laws around antique firearms which now means that someone who has served or received a criminal sentence can no longer possess an antique gun. I appeal to anyone who owns an antique firearm or legally owns a gun but who no longer requires it is, please hand it in.
"Whether it belongs to you, your son or daughter, brother or sister, friend or partner, by handing it in you are preventing one more weapon falling into the hands of criminals."
Roger Critchell, Director of Operations for Crimestoppers: "Crimestoppers is proud to back the MPS campaign to reduce the number of firearms in our community. We want the public to know that we take crime seriously and that, with their help, we can make London a safer place to live.
"Every anonymous call to Crimestoppers is potentially vital to preventing or solving serious crimes and removing an illegally held firearm may just save someone's life."
Head of NABIS, Detective Chief Superintendent Iain O'Brien, said: "Gun amnesties provide an important opportunity for people to hand firearms over to police and prevent them falling into the hands of criminals and endangering the public. We are pleased that the Metropolitan Police Service are running this operation and we hope as many people as possible take this opportunity to surrender their guns."
Anyone wanting more details about how to surrender firearms or ammunition should contact their local police. If you have any information regarding gun or gang crime you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or access a secure online form via www.crimestoppers-uk.org. In an emergency always call 999.
November 17, 2014