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  • Surrender your weapons!

    Frank Martin

    RESIDENTS in Lancashire are being encouraged to hand in guns and ammunition as part of a nationwide firearms surrender which started on Monday (November 13) and runs for two weeks.

    During that period weapons can be handed in at six police stations in the county, including Skelmersdale.

    As a result of the last gun surrender in April 2016, a total of 139 firearms were handed in, including shotguns, rifles and high-powered air weapons, along with ammunition.

    Officers, who are hoping for a similar success this year, say some people may hold firearms in innocence or ignorance of their illegality; or they may have older items in their homes which have been overlooked or forgotten.

    However, these can still be lethal if they get into the wrong hands and members of the public are urged to take this opportunity to dispose of any firearms or ammunition they may have, regardless of how old they might be.

    Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms safely.

    Anyone handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.

    Superintendent Julian Platt from Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Our aim is to keep Lancashire safe which we will do by working with partners and our local communities to prevent and detect crime. This nationwide amnesty is a very good example of how members of the public can directly help us to prevent harm to our local communities by removing the risk of weapons getting into the wrong hands.

    “We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to use this opportunity to hand them in. We’d also encourage anyone who knows about weapons being kept illegally to tell us anonymously where they are and potentially help 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.”

    And Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “I fully support Lancashire Constabulary in their campaign to remove dangerous firearms from our streets.”

    Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at any of the designated local police stations but people are advised to check opening times first by visiting the Lancashire Constabulary website.

    Anyone who is physically unable to get to a station can call 101 for advice.

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