Police begin 10 day weapons amnesty to get guns and knives off the streets

A county-wide weapons amnesty has been officially launched in West Yorkshire today in a bid to get guns and knives off the streets.

Wednesday, 22nd February 2017, 3:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:50 pm
Police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, gun crime victim Christoper Wright and Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Picture: Simon Hulme

Anyone in possession of illegal knives or firearms is being urged to take up the opportunity to hand in their weapons without fear of prosecution.

The 10 day campaign, which will also include work with registered firearms holders, is the third annual weapons surrender to be organised by West Yorkshire Police.

Last year's amnesty resulted in 230 weapons, including two AK47s, being handed in at police stations.

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Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: "It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness, to get out there in the community but actually to get some weaponry, whether it’s knives or firearms or offensive weapons, off the street and into the police station where we can safely dispose of them.

"People can turn up there and effectively put the weaponry in the bins that are ready for us to then take control of.

"They don’t have to leave their name and address of talk to anyone, they can literally just drop and run."

Police say the recent murders of two teenagers in Leeds have highlighted the importance of this kind of work, although the amnesty was already being planned.

West Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "Obviously recent events have brought home the tragic impact that getting involved with gun and knife crime can have.

"It’s really important that we send out a strong message to people who may be in possession of a gun or dangerous knife that they can bring those forward, anonymously if that’s what they want."

Weapons can be handed in at eight police stations from today until March 4.

Any firearms handed in will undergo forensic examination to see whether they have been used criminally.

However, people handing in weapons will not be prosecuted simply for possessing them.