Police continue appeal over firearms and ammunition


Police are continuing to appeal for members of the public to surrender any unwanted firearms and ammunition to police in Sussex and Surrey.

In the first week of the campaign more than 80 firearms of different types have been handed to officers at police stations or made available for officers to collect from homes.

Among them in Sussex have been 17 air weapons, 15 shotguns, 13 revolvers, 12 pistols and five rifles. Each of them has been examined and made safe by trained firearms officers.

Officers have also been given more than 700 cartridges and other bullets as part of the surrender.

In Surrey six air weapons, six shotguns, five revolvers, four pistols and a rifle were also handed to officers and made safe as well as more than 500 cartridges and bullets in the first week of the surrender.

In addition, a number of other firearms have been handed into both forces that have not yet been examined and made safe by firearms officers. They include suspected BB guns, air rifles and blank firers.

Sussex Police and Surrey Police are inviting members of the public to surrender unwanted items until Friday 21 November so they can be disposed of safely.

The surrender is an opportunity for those whose licence has lapsed or who do not hold a licence to dispose of those weapons and ammunition safely and without prosecution. However each weapon may be analysed to determine if it has been used in crime and, if it has, it will be investigated.

Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, the head of operations command across Sussex Police and Surrey Police, said: “We are delighted that so many weapons have been handed in so far and would encourage anyone that has a similar item at home to contact us.

“If you have any firearms or ammunition that belong to other people, that you have inherited or that has been forgotten about until now, please hand them in.

“Together we can make the two counties even safer by reducing the chance of criminals getting their hands on weapons.”

New legislation that came into effect on July 14 increased the maximum jail term for illegal gun possession from 10 years to life.

The legislation also changes the list of those who can possess firearm and ammunition and includes non firing weapons that can be made viable by people with ballistics knowledge.

Information is available at www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/12/part/8/enacted but if you are at all uncertain, contact your local firearms licensing team by calling 101 or emailing 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

The surrender is part of a nationwide operation being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), which analyses guns and ballistic material for police forces across the UK.

Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at local police stations but anyone handing in a firearm during this opportunity is advised to check the opening times of their nearest station before they set off.

Anyone wishing to hand in firearms should disarm them and put them in a box or strong bag. Ammunition should be placed in a separate box or bag.

Ensure they are covered from view on your way to a station and when you arrive tell a member of police staff that you are there to surrender a weapon before you reveal it.

Please do not hand any such items to police officers or staff in the street as they are not equipped to deal with firearms and the sight of weapons could cause unnecessary alarm to members of the community.

If you cannot take your firearm or ammunition to a station, email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 to arrange an appointment when an officer will visit you to collect it.

If you have any information about the possession of an illegal firearm or criminal activity related to weapons, email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

For more information about firearms and ammunition, including when and where you can hand them in, visit www.sussex.police.uk/help-centre/ask-us/explosives,-firearms,-knives-and-other-weapons/what-is-a-gun-surrender.