Londoners are being urged to #giveupyourgun as part of a week-long firearm surrender being launched by the Metropolitan Police.
The campaign, which is part of the Met’s ongoing work to reduce gun crime and remove illegal weapons from the streets of London, will run between 0900hrs on Monday, 6 February until 2300hrs on Sunday, 12 February.
The surrender will give Londoners the opportunity to safely dispose of firearms, imitation weapons or ammunition, by taking them to a local police station and handing them in.
Those who hand in firearm(s) during this week’s surrender will not have to give their details to police officers.
Detective Chief Superintendent Jim Stokley, of the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command, said:
“Illegal firearms cause nothing but misery and devastation.
“We are urging anyone holding an illegal firearm to take up this opportunity and hand it in to police this week.
"Our aim is to remove all illegal firearms from the streets of London and we work relentlessly to disrupt and arrest anyone suspected of being involved in gun crime.
“If you hold on to an illegal gun, you are putting yourself and your loved ones in danger and you are likely to be arrested and face at least five years in jail.”
As part of the gun surrender, the Met will be running a video on its social media channels featuring quotes from a London woman who is currently serving a five-year prison sentence after she was asked by her boyfriend to look after a gun.
A webpage with full details about the surrender, including a map for users to check the location of their nearest 24-hour police station where they can hand in a gun is on the Met's website:
The Met is aiming to reduce the number of illegal firearms in the city after an increase in the amount of lethal barrelled gun discharges in the past year.
Lethal barrel gun discharge is recorded when evidence is identified of a firearm being used. For example, a bullet casing is found or a person is treated for a wound inflicted by a firearm.
In the past year to 25 January, 2017, there were 305, compared to 226 in the previous 12 months.
However, the number of gun discharges has reduced in the past three months and is still significantly lower than when the Met launched the Trident Gang Crime Command five years ago where the figure stood at 378 in 2011.
In May 2016, Trident launched Operation Viper, which involves targeting areas of high gun discharges, proactively targeting known gun crime offenders, intelligence-led weapon sweeps and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operations.
Teams of Trident officers are also deployed in areas with the highest volume of gun crime discharges to help provide an even faster response to firearms incidents.
Trident officers have also worked with the Milestone Foundation, as part of the Met’s DIVERT programme, to steer young people away from gun crime and into employment or development.
In the past two years, Met officers have taken more than 1,400 firearms off the capital’s streets, including 230 handed in during gun surrenders in November 2014 and 2015.
Any antique or decommissioned weapons which have the potential to be reactivated, and any loose ammunition, can also be handed in to police.
If anyone has any information about someone who they believe is in possession of an illegal gun, they can ring police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.