Leamington town where most guns handed in during first week of surrender campaign

A total of 159 firearms have been handed in during the first week of the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police firearms surrender campaign.
A total of 159 firearms have been handed in during the first week of the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police firearms surrender campaign.

A total of 159 firearms have been handed in during the first week of the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police firearms surrender campaign including 29 in Leamington - more than anywhere else in the two force areas.

The campaign is part of a national initiative to reduce gun crime, and runs across Warwickshire and West Mercia policing areas until Sunday November 26.

It gives anyone living in the area with a firearm the opportunity to surrender the weapon at their location police station.

People surrendering weapons will not be required to leave any information but if police suspect a weapon may have been involved in a crime, they will examine the gun for evidence.

Chief Inspector Mark Colquhoun is keen to emphasise the danger of firearms falling into the wrong hands: “Compared with other areas of the country we don’t have a major gun problem, but we are keen to support this national campaign to help keep our communities safe. The whole aim is to remove any firearms that could potentially be used in a crime from public circulation.

“Within Warwickshire and West Mercia policing areas, there are around 46,000 licensed firearms owners and this is also an opportunity for them to hand in old weapons or guns they no longer require.

“The majority of the firearms handed in during the last surrender were older items that the owner no longer needed and wanted to safely dispose of.

“People may have older or historical weapons stored in lofts or garages which have been inherited or passed down through the family, and these can also be disposed of during the surrender.

“While these are not being used for criminal activities, they can and sometimes do fall into the wrong hands and can then be used to commit crimes.

“We’re extremely pleased with the public’s response so far and the support they have shown in helping us to make the region safer.

“The surrender ends on Sunday, and I would encourage as many people as possible to take this opportunity to hand in any unregistered firearms or firearms they no longer require during this time.”

All surrendered weapons will be destroyed or in exceptional circumstances, if the weapon has historical value, donated to a museum.

To report any concerns about people in possession of firearms, please call the 101 non-emergency number or 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, you can make a report anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via the website www.crimestoppers-uk.org

*Number of firearms surrendered by area so far*

Leamington: 29

Nuneaton: 6

Rugby: 8

Hereford: 22

Kidderminster: 20

Redditch: 15

Telford: 26

Shrewsbury: 13

Worcester: 20

Total: 159