Police would like to thank everyone who took part in a national firearms surrender – and are urging anyone still in possession of unwanted guns or ammunition to hand them in.
The aim of the national operation, supported by Sussex Police and Surrey Police, is to reduce the number of illegally held firearms in circulation which could fall into the hands of criminals.
A total of 161 items were surrendered at police stations in Sussex during the campaign by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), which ran from 20 July to 4 August; 43 firearms plus ammunition were surrendered in Surrey.
It gave people the opportunity to safely dispose of firearms or ammunition, and help to reduce the number of potentially lethal weapons in circulation in the county.
A total of 82 items were surrendered in the east part of the county, including Brighton, and 79 items were surrendered in the west.
These figures included 112 firearms – the remaining were various types of ammunition – broken down as follows:
- 29 shotguns / 5 in Surrey;
- 33 air pistols / 13 in Surrey;
- 16 air rifles / 11 in Surrey;
- 5 BB guns / 7 in Surrey;
- 9 blank firing guns / 2 in Surrey;
- 2 deactivated guns / 1 in Surrey;
- 5 imitation guns / 1 in Surrey;
- 1 stun gun / 1 in Surrey;
- 4 pistols;
- 4 revolvers;
- 4 rifles;
- 2 full-bore pistols in Surrey.
During the previous campaign run by NABIS in 2017, a total of 552 ballistic items were surrendered in Sussex; more than 100 ballistic items were surrendered in Surrey.
Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Britton said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came forward as part of this campaign and surrendered any unwanted or illegal firearms they had. In our view, every weapon surrendered is another weapon off our streets which could potentially cause harm.
“Some of the items handed in included war trophies and weapons discovered during house clearances, for example. After being individually examined, all of the weapons are destroyed, unless they are of historical or significant interest, in which case they may be retained by NABIS for museums.
“Any guns which can be proved to be linked to crime will be kept as evidence for any future court proceedings, however we have identified no such circumstances to date with this campaign.
“While crimes involving firearms in both Surrey and Sussex are extremely rare, we recognise that these weapons could be lethal if in the wrong hands. By giving people the opportunity to safely dispose of these items, we are ultimately making Surrey and Sussex safer.”
To find out how and where you can surrender your unwanted firearms or ammunition, visit our website here.