Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Over 100 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition surrendered across Lancashire

A Colt .45 and three magazines, Cap and ball revolver and a British Second World War service revolver handed into Lancashire Police during 'Op Holster'

103 prohibited guns and 3,419 rounds of ammunition were handed into Lancashire Police during a two week ‘Op Holster’ amnesty last month.

Officers collected a haul of 46 shotguns, 41 various air guns, pistols and five rifles. Also taken to police stations were eight revolvers and three self-loading pistols, in addition to various calibres of live ammunition.

A week long opportunity for people to surrender unwanted firearms and ammunition began on 10 November 2014 and owing to its success it was extended for a further week.

Some items will be submitted to NABIS (National Ballistics Intelligence Service) and after any evidential issues have been explored the majority of the items will be destroyed.

However there are some historical pieces, including World War One weapons and several rare American produced guns that the force will donate to organisations including the Royal Armouries and accredited government “proof houses”. 

"The gun surrender has been a great success for Lancashire Police," notes Superintendent Jon Puttock. "Clearly it’s concerning to see so many dangerous weapons on the street but taking these firearms and ammunition out of circulation can only be a good thing.

“We have also had lots of interesting and historic items handed in, including a stun gun disguised as torch and some of the firearms date back to the first and second World Wars.

“A replica revolver was brought in after been found whilst clearing a deceased relatives house, and two 12 bore shotguns and ammunition that was also found whilst clearing out another deceased relatives house some time ago.

“Many of the weapons are old but many remain live and if fired are capable of killing. All it would take is one burglary for a gun to be stolen and end up in criminal hands.

“Communities hold the key to helping reduce firearms related crime and if you know of people involved in illegal firearms activity call the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Every call to Crimestoppers is anonymous and potentially vital to preventing or solving serious crimes; removing an illegally held firearm may just save someone’s life.”

Throughout the week, those surrendering firearms did not face prosecution for illegal possession and were able to remain anonymous.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw:
"I am delighted the gun surrender proved such a success."
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "I am delighted the gun surrender proved such a success.

"Every single weapon which has been handed in is one which will now not fall into wrong hands. That's an important step toward protecting Lancashire's residents.

"The consequences of possessing a weapon illegal are severe, and while the volume of guns and ammunition that was out there illegally in Lancashire is concerning, it is pleasing the message is getting through to people."

New firearms legislation came into effect on 14 July increasing the maximum jail term for illegal gun possession with aggravating features from 10 years to life.

Force Gun Crime and Statistics

• Between April 2013 and March 2014, a total of 77 firearms discharges were recorded across Lancashire.

• There have currently been 38 discharges recorded this year, up to end Sept.

• Between January and September 2013 there were 46 firearm discharges across the county, compared to 27 in the same period this year, a 41% reduction.

• There have been 53 injuries as a result of firearms discharges for the last 12 months and 19 crimes recorded as possession of firearm.

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