An appeal for people to hand in unwanted or illegal firearms has seen more than 70 guns surrendered to Northamptonshire Police in just two weeks.
Part of a national firearms surrender coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), the event allowed people to hand in firearms and ammunition anonymously, helping prevent them getting into criminal hands.
Between November 13 and 26, a total of 72 firearms were surrendered in Northamptonshire, including shotguns, rifles, air weapons, handguns and imitation firearms. A number of items were deactivated or antique firearms, including a flintlock musket.
Surrendered ammunition included more than 100 shotgun cartridges, 45 live bullets, pistol blanks and hundreds of air weapon pellets. Other weapons including a crossbow and knives were also handed in.
Superintendent Chris Hillery, head of local policing, said: “The aim of this operation was to reduce the number of firearms in circulation to protect our communities. Every gun off the streets is one less which could be used by criminals to cause harm.
“Many items had been legally held but were no longer wanted, and giving them up removes the risk of them ever falling into the wrong hands. I’d like to thank everyone who has done the right thing and surrendered firearms, ammunition or other weapons to us.
“We take gun-related crime very seriously in Northamptonshire and are dedicated to protecting people from harm. As a force we will continue to use intelligence and proactive investigation work to identify and bring to justice anyone involved in using illegal firearms to commit crime.”
Once examinations of the surrendered weapons are complete, most will be destroyed. Any of historic significance will be made safe and preserved. Previous offences linked to any of the surrendered items will be investigated.
Supt Hillery added: “To anyone who may still have a firearm they have not handed in, please call us on 101 to discuss the safe collection of that item.”
A three-week surrender in September 2014 resulted in 177 firearms being handed to Northamptonshire Police, alongside more than 100 knives or bladed articles.
Any information about illegal firearms can be reported to police on 101 or online at www.northants.police.uk, or passed to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.