THE people of Staffordshire have handed in 176 firearms and a variety of ammunition since 13 November, helping police to stop more firearms falling into the wrong hands.
Over the last two weeks, Staffordshire Police have been taking part in a national Firearms Surrender alongside other police forces in the UK. Their last surrender, which took place in 2014, saw just over 200 firearms handed in, meaning we have seen a very similar result this year.
Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe, head of prevention and early intervention, said: “We are fortunate to have very low levels of gun crime in Staffordshire, with just 44 firearms offences in the last 12 months. However, we remain vigilant to the extreme risks of firearms and I offer my thanks on behalf of Staffordshire Police to all those that did hand over firearms.
“Although the surrender is over, if you didn’t get around to handing yours in or you discover one in the future, please call 101 to arrange for us to collect it safely. In the meantime please keep it safe and hidden and handle it carefully if you must move it.”
Every firearm that has been handed in will be checked against ballistic records in case it is linked to any past crimes. Once this process is complete, they will all be destroyed and the metal and plastic recycled where possible.
Of the 176 firearms, there were 76 shotguns, 33 rifles, 27 handguns, 30 air weapons and 10 deactivated or blank firing weapons. We also then received 28 lots of ammunition and 7 lots of shotgun cartridges.
In neighbouring Warwickshire, a total of 74 firearms and 32 lots of ammunition were surrendered.
If you are caught in possession of a firearm you could be put in jail and put your future in danger.
If you suspect someone possesses a firearm illegally, call 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress or a life is in danger.
You can also report information about crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.