19/07/2019

Police Urge Public to Hand in Guns during Firearms Surrender

Cleveland Police is appealing for people to hand in unwanted guns with a two week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting on Saturday 20th July.

Many firearms are held in innocence and could be overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. People could be unaware of their illegality, however, others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.

The surrender gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition by simply taking them to a local police station and handing them over. This includes air weapons, CS cannisters, tasers, stun guns and imitation weapons.

Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.

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

Previous firearms surrenders held in Cleveland have been successful, with more than 30 weapons handed in during a campaign in 2014 and over 50 in 2017. Large quantities of ammunition were handed in during both surrenders.

Inspector Mark Pitt said: “Whilst gun crime is not particularly prominent in Cleveland, nationally the fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and police are working together with partners and local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at an early opportunity.

“Police have a number of tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands – but officers would always appeal to the public for their help in locating weapons and would urge people to hand in their weapons during the upcoming firearms surrender. 

“Just one weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten people in our local communities and we would appeal to anyone to hand in their weapons or let us know of any information about a weapon being kept illegally. Now is the chance to give up those weapons, or even tell us anonymously where it is. You will not be prosecuted and you could save a life.”

Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at the four main police stations in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar during opening hours (8am-8pm).

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms, call Cleveland Police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.