Suffolk Police is asking people to hand in unwanted or illegal guns as they support a national surrender on firearms and ammunition.
The campaign is being coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) and will run from today, Thursday, May 12 until Sunday, May 29, in a bid to reduce the availability of illegal firearms to criminals, reduce the number of illegal firearms within local supply chains and ultimately reduce firearm offences in the county.
During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession at the point of surrender and can remain anonymous. The items that people are urged to surrender include replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, component parts and other ballistic items currently lawfully held.
Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in peoples’ homes, while some are held legally and are no longer required. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities. The surrender gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition by simply taking them to a local police station and handing them over.
Darrell Skuse, Firearms Licensing Manager for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, said: “Although we are fortunate that crimes involving firearms are not common in Suffolk, the reality is that they do happen occasionally and we want to take this opportunity to further reduce the risk.
“The aim of this campaign is for people to hand in as many firearms as possible, as every weapon that is removed from the public sphere is one more that is prevented from potentially falling into the pool of criminally used weapons.
“The surrender will allow people to hand in unwanted or illegal firearms and ammunition to the police. It will avoid these weapons getting into the wrong hands and provide members of the community with a safe place to dispose of any firearms and ammunition they have, whether held lawfully or unlawfully.”
Firearms can be surrendered at the three Public Enquiry Offices (PEOs) in the county between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.
The locations of the PEOs are as follows:
- Ipswich Police Station, 10 Museum Street, IP1 1HT;
- Lowestoft Police Station, Old Nelson Street, NR32 1EQ; and
- Bury St Edmunds Police Station, Raingate Street, IP33 2AP
Anyone handing in a firearm should make sure that it is unloaded and covered up and, if possible, people are asked to ring the police beforehand on 101 to let officers know that they are bringing a gun in as part of the operation.
Details about recent firearms legislation changes can be found via the National Ballistics Intelligence Service website: Antique firearms law change (nabis.police.uk)