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Police forces launch two-week Give Up The Gun firearms amnesty


A poster urging the public to give up unwanted firearms (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

A poster urging the public to give up unwanted firearms (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

A poster urging the public to give up unwanted firearms (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Police forces across the North West of England are appealing for people to "Give up the Gun" with a two-week surrender of firearms and ammunition.

The amnesty will take place from 7am on Monday to 11.59pm on Monday April 18.

During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession and can remain anonymous.

Amnesties are being held in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria - two years since the last firearms surrender in the region when hundreds of weapons were handed in.

There has been a spate of shootings in Salford in the past year, including the murder of so-called "Mr Big" Paul Massey outside his home last July.

Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable John O'Hare said: "The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and our local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.

"One weapon off the streets is one less that can be used, often multiple times, to harm and threaten our communities. "

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: "Gun crime has cast a shadow over Greater Manchester in recent months and the work of GMP and partner agencies has shown that this will not be tolerated. But the actions of a minority will not diminish the ambition of the good, law-abiding people of this conurbation to make our neighbourhoods safer and protect our young people from criminality."

Merseyside Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Holland said: "The firearms surrender will run in tandem with our ongoing proactive approach to taking firearms off the streets.

"In recent years there have been some changes in legislation in relation to antique firearms and some people may also have replica and decommissioned firearms in their homes because they have inherited them, or have a genuine interest in collecting military weapons and paraphernalia.

"These weapons could be targeted by those involved in serious and organised crime who may see the opportunities of converting and using them in criminality.

"In the wrong hands, these guns can be reactivated and used to cause fear and intimidation, or even worse could be used to seriously injure, or kill, someone. Every gun surrendered is one less that can be used by criminals to commit serious offences."

North Wales Police are also taking part in the two-week surrender.

Winston Roddick, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, said: "There is no reason for using or carrying a gun. The misuse of one gun can destroy a whole family and cause unrest in the whole community.

"We must all work together to get rid of these weapons off the streets in North Wales and the North West of England. I therefore fully support this firearms surrender."