More than 100 firearms were surrendered in Sussex during a recent campaign and police are urging people to continue handing in unwanted guns or ammunition.
Sussex and Surrey Police supported the national campaign, between July 20 and August 4, to reduce the number of illegally held firearms in circulation which could fall into the hands of criminals.
A total 161 items, firearms and ammunition, were surrendered at police stations in Sussex – 82 in the east part of the county including Brighton, and 79 in the west – while 43 firearms plus ammunition were surrendered in Surrey.
The figures included 112 firearms – the remaining were various types of ammunition – broken down as follows:
- 29 shotguns / 5 in Surrey;
- 33 air pistols / 13 in Surrey;
- 16 air rifles / 11 in Surrey;
- 5 BB guns / 7 in Surrey;
- 9 blank firing guns / 2 in Surrey;
- 2 deactivated guns / 1 in Surrey;
- 5 imitation guns / 1 in Surrey;
- 1 stun gun / 1 in Surrey;
- 4 pistols;
- 4 revolvers;
- 4 rifles;
- 2 full-bore pistols in Surrey.
During a similar campaign run by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service in 2017, a total of 552 item were surrendered in Sussex. More than 100 were surrendered in Surrey.
Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Britton said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came forward as part of this campaign and surrendered any unwanted or illegal firearms they had. In our view, every weapon surrendered is another weapon off our streets which could potentially cause harm.
“Some of the items handed in included war trophies and weapons discovered during house clearances, for example. After being individually examined, all of the weapons are destroyed, unless they are of historical or significant interest, in which case they may be retained by NABIS for museums.
“Any guns which can be proved to be linked to crime will be kept as evidence for any future court proceedings, however we have identified no such circumstances to date with this campaign.
“While crimes involving firearms in both Surrey and Sussex are extremely rare, we recognise that these weapons could be lethal if in the wrong hands. By giving people the opportunity to safely dispose of these items, we are ultimately making Surrey and Sussex safer.”
To find out how and where you can surrender your unwanted firearms or ammunition, visit our website here.