11/04/2003

8,000 guns taken off streets during gun amnesty

Around 8,000 guns have been handed in to police during the first half of the month-long national firearms amnesty.

In the first week, 3,775 firearms were handed in, including 563 handguns, along with 71,000 rounds of ammunition. The police estimate that they have received around the same number in the second week – including a rocket launcher which was handed in at a station in the West Midlands.

The amnesty bid to rid the streets of illegal guns runs out on April 30 and gives people the opportunity to hand in illegal or unwanted firearms now without facing prosecution for their possession.

Mr Blunkett said: "Gun crime blights our society. It can ruin lives, especially young lives, and tear apart communities. I have made it clear that the government will not sit back and allow a small minority of misguided individuals to spread fear and violence in their communities."

Deputy Chief Constable Alan Green from Greater Manchester Police, chair of the ACPO group on Criminal Use of Firearms, said it had been a "very encouraging start".

"However, we know there are still plenty more illegally-held weapons out there and I urge anyone in possession of one, or who knows of someone who is, to take this opportunity to get rid of them," he said.

The government intends to introduce a new five-year mandatory minimum sentence for illegal possession of a prohibited firearm. Other planned legislation will seek to make it an offence to carry imitation guns and air weapons in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

(GMcG)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

23 October 2015
Stun Guns Disguised As Torches Seized
Stun guns disguised as torches and phones have been seized at Glasgow Airport by Border Force officers. Five men from Glasgow have been sentenced to 850 hours of community service, after they were caught to carrying the illegal weapons. The men had returned to Glasgow from a stag party trip to Thailand.
02 March 2009
Tracking Gun 'Fingerprints' To Crackdown On Offenders
A new state-of-the-art £8 million national ballistics service to assist police in solving gun crimes was officially opened today by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) provides a specialist 'CSI-style' analysis of all ballistics - effectively giving guns and bullets a 'fingerprint' which can be tracked.
25 November 2003
Gun crime targeted with £1m police database
A new £1 million 'gun crime' database has been launched which could help bring more criminals to justice and make communities safer, Home Office Minister Caroline Flint said today.
27 August 2013
Fire At Police Firearms Training Centre
Firefighters remain at the scene of a fire, at the new police firearms training centre site at Valley Road, Portishead. Avon Fire and Rescue Service crews arrived on the scene just after 4.30am on tuesday (27 August) where they found a well-developed fire affecting the building, which is currently under construction.
16 February 2012
Over 500 Arrested By Anti Gang Squad Last Week
A total of 515 gang-related arrests have been made along with weapons, drugs and cash seizures by a newly formed anti-gang police team.