Give up your guns: Northumbria Police urges people with firearms to hand them over during national amnesty

A fresh firearms amnesty is set to launch after a previous surrender saw hundreds handed over to police.

Saturday, 20th July 2019, 6:00 am
Northumbria Police is taking part in the national firearms and ammunition amnesty.

Northumbria Police is encouraging people to take part in a national firearms surrender in the hopes of clearing the region’s streets of dangerous weapons.

Operation Aztec will start tomorrow, Saturday July 20, and Sunday, August 4, across England, Scotland and Wales and aims to encourage people to hand their firearms over officers in their local station.

The last surrender took part in November 2017 and in the force area, a total of 280 weapons were recovered along with a large quantity of ammunition.

Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan of Northumbria Police.

Of those, 131 were viable firearms which included six pistols, eight revolvers, 22 rifles and 92 shotguns.

A Taser, flare and three machine guns were also surrendered alongside five antique weapons.

A number of items outside the criteria were also handed in, including a crossbow, sword and smoke grenades.

The national lead, Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan from Northumbria Police, said: “We use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands – but we need the public’s help.

Southwick Police Station is among the locations where people can hand over firearms during the amnesty.

“If you know where a weapon is being kept illegally, now is your chance to give up the gun, or tell us anonymously where it is.

“You will not be prosecuted and you could save a life.

“One weapon off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities.

“We will use all of the powers and information available to us to locate this criminality and put a stop to it for good.”

Northumbria Police's HQ, in Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend, is also accepting firearms during the surrender.

Once handed in, weapons will be forensically examined and then either destroyed or given to museums and exhibitions.

During the surrender period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession and can remain anonymous at the point of surrender.

Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at police stations in Southwick in Sunderland, Forth Banks in Newcastle and Middle Engine Lane in Wallsend but people are advised to check the opening times of their station by calling 101 or visiting the police website.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555.