'One weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm': Cleveland Police set to launch two-week gun amnesty
Police are launching a firearms amnesty to mop up ‘overlooked or forgotten’ guns people may have
Cleveland Police is appealing for people to hand in unwanted guns – and not face prosecution for their illegal possession – for two weeks from Saturday, July 20.
Officers say many firearms are held in innocence and could be overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes.
Police say the owners could be unaware of their illegality but others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate.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.Those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession 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.” Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at police stations in Hartlepool from 8am to 8pm.