Gwent Police are joining with Police forces across the UK to appeal for people to hand over any unwanted guns with a two week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting on Monday 13 November 2017.
It has been three years since the last national firearms surrender, when forces again asked members of the public to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to prevent them from getting into criminal hands.
The surrender initiative is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) and
will run for two weeks from Monday 13 November to Sunday 26 November 2017.
During this period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession at the point of surrender, and can remain anonymous.
Guns and ammunition can be surrendered at designated at a number of police stations throughout Gwent but anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender is advised to check the opening times of their station in advance by calling 101 or visiting the Gwent Police website.
Superintendent Glyn Fernquest said:
“Whilst we don’t experience a high level of gun crime in Gwent, we are joining forces with our partners in Wales and across the UK to support the national NABIS Fire Arm Surrender 2017.
“Many firearms are held in innocence however there is always a risk that they can end up in the wrong hands and used in criminality.
“This initiative gives people the opportunity to dispose of any unwanted or unused firearms safely and anonymously , whether they are held lawfully or unlawfully.
“This is a surrender and not an amnesty so whilst people will not be prosecuted for the possession of the firearm, our specialist officers will be examining the previous use of the firearm.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton, Head of NABIS, added: “Surrendering unwanted or illegal firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in crime and means that members of the community can dispose of them in a safe place.
“Perhaps you have a gun that has been handed down through the family or you have found a firearm in your loft or shed which has been gathering dust and you had forgotten about. During the campaign this November you can contact your local force and hand in any unwanted or illegal firearms. This way you can be confident you have got rid of a firearm safely.”
Latest crime figures issued on 19 October 2017 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that crime involving firearms in England & Wales has increased by 27% (to 6,696). This is for year ending June 2017 compared with the previous year (5,269 offences).
Illegal possession of a firearm can mean five years behind bars and if you are found guilty of possession with intent to supply that can lead to a life sentence.
If you know of anyone involved with illegal firearms call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111.
If you are a licensed firearm holder who wants advice please contact the Gwent Police Firearms Licencing Team.
Please watch this short video to see why we are supporting the NABIS Firearm Surrender: