POLICE are encouraging anyone with a gun or other ammunition to surrender them.

Officers are appealing for people to hand in any unwanted guns during a two-week surrender of firearms and ammunition that started on Thursday as part of a national campaign.

According to police, many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality, or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes.

But, others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten or intimidate.

This surrender, which is being co-ordinated nationally by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition in a safe place and will be held for two weeks, running until Sunday, May 29.

During the fortnight, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.

Supt Olly Cosgrove said: “While the number of incidents involving firearms remains low in our area, we need to stay focussed on the fight against gun crime.

“We use various tactics to locate weapons which have fallen into the wrong hands – but we need the public’s help.

“This surrender period allows people to hand in unwanted or illegal firearms or ammunition to the police. It stops these weapons falling into the hands of criminals and being used to cause harm in our communities.

“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.”

Firearms can be surrendered at any police station – we’d encourage members of the public to click on this link for more details of station locations and full opening times

If someone is unable to travel to a police station they should contact police via 101 and arrange for the firearm to be collected.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms you call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers do not ask for your name or trace your call.