Thames Valley Police

NATIONAL FIREARMS SURRENDER CAMPAIGN RUNS AGAIN THIS SUMMER

News   •   Jul 12, 2019 14:52 BST

Thames Valley Police is appealing to the public to hand over any unwanted guns during a two week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting on Saturday 20 July 2019 until Sunday 4 August, as part of a national campaign supported by police in England and Wales.

Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to threaten or harm their local communities. The surrender gives the opportunity to dispose of a firearm or ammunition by simply taking it to a local designated police station and handing it in.

During the campaign period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession - at the point of surrender - and can remain anonymous if they choose to.

The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) coordinated the last national firearms surrender which took place in November 2017 and was deemed a big success with thousands of potentially lethal items prevented from getting into criminal hands.

This summer’s campaign has a particular focus on firearms, stun gun type devices and pepper sprays. Police want to highlight the danger of these items and remind people they are illegal in this country and could lead to a prison sentence for anyone caught in possession.

Guns and ammunition can be surrendered at designated police stations across the Thames Valley, anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender is advised only visit the police stations listed who have front counter staff to take the surrendered items. Anyone who is unable to visit one of these stations is advised to call 101 to arrange a collection from a home address.

Abingdon Police Station

Colwell Drive
Abingdon
Oxfordshire
OX14 1AU

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Aylesbury Police Station

Wendover Road,
Aylesbury,
Buckinghamshire
HP21 7LA

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Banbury Police Station

Warwick Road,
Banbury,
Oxfordshire
OX16 2AE

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

High Wycombe Police Station

Queen Victoria Road
High Wycombe
Buckinghamshire
HP11 1BE

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Loddon Valley Police Station

Rushey Way,
Lower Earley,
Berkshire
RG6 4PS

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Maidenhead Police Station

Bridge Road,
Maidenhead,
Berkshire
SL6 8LP

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Milton Keynes Police Station

302 North Row,
Witan Gate East,
Milton Keynes
MK9 2DS

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Newbury Police Station

Mill Lane,
Newbury,
Berkshire
RG14 5QU

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week


Oxford Police Station

St Aldates,
Oxford,
Oxfordshire
OX1 1SZ

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Reading Police Station

Castle Street
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 7TH

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Slough Police Station

Windsor Road,
Slough,
Berkshire
SL1 2HH

Opening times – 8am to 10pm 7 days a week

Amersham Police Station

King George V Road
Amersham
Buckinghamshire
HP6 5AL

Opening times – 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday

Bracknell Police Station

The Broadway,
Bracknell,
Berkshire
RG12 1AD

Opening times – 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday

Bicester Police Station

Queens Avenue,
Bicester,
Oxfordshire
OX26 2NT

Opening times – 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday

Witney Police Station

Welch Way,
Witney,
Oxfordshire
OX28 6JN

Opening times – 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday

Kidlington Police Station

Headquarters South, Oxford Road,
Kidlington,
Oxfordshire
OX5 2NX

Opening times - 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday

Crime figures issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that crimes involving firearms in England & Wales (not just discharges) decreased by 2% to 6,525 offences. This is for year ending December 2018 compared with the previous year (6641 offences). This follows a period of increased gun crime.

Illegal possession of a firearm can mean five years behind bars and if you are found guilty of possession with intent to supply that can lead to a life sentence.

Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan, National Police Chief’s Council lead for Criminal Use of Firearms, said: “The last national firearms surrender was a success and potentially helped save lives. With the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy underway, we feel it is the right time to ask police forces to run another two week campaign to collect unwanted guns and ammunition. Each firearm we retrieve has the potential to save a life so do the right thing and surrender your weapon.

“We also want to highlight that stun guns and similar devices are illegal in the UK and may not be brought in from abroad. They may be legal in some other countries but if you are caught with one here you could be prosecuted with possession of a firearm and be put behind bars. This summer’s surrender is a good opportunity to hand in these type of devices.

“Those people in the UK who order illegal guns or component parts using internet sales sites will also be targeted by police this summer. If you have ordered items from abroad hand them in before we come knocking at your door.”

The surrender initiative is being coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS). The surrender will run for two weeks from Saturday 20 July to Sunday 4 August 2019.

Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Clews, Head of NABIS, added: “This is an important national campaign coordinated by NABIS. During the last decade our experts have provided police forces with ground breaking ballistic forensic services and intelligence packages to prevent and detect gun crime. Even though UK firearm offences remain at relatively low levels compared to other countries, we cannot be complacent and this surrender will help remove further potential harm from our communities.”

During the last national firearms surrender in 2017 more than 400 items were handed in Thames Valley and Hampshire region, with over 9,500 items were handed in nationally to police. These included hand guns, rifles, shotguns, so-called ‘antique’ (obsolete calibre) guns and imitation firearms, as well as ammunition. Shotguns were the most popular firearms handed in and accounted for 59% of the total surrendered.

Most of the items handed in were destroyed but a few unusual items were retained for the National Ballistics Intelligence Service firearms reference collection or museums. Some items were discovered in lofts or garden sheds; perhaps family heirlooms or ‘trophies’ of war.

Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Chief Inspector Karen McManus said: “I would urge people to hand in their guns, whether they are imitation firearms or unlicensed, any firearm in the wrong hands can have a devastating impact and it is no exaggeration to say that each gun we retrieve has the potential to save a life.

“If you or a family member possess an illegal or unwanted firearm please hand it in to the police at one of the designated stations which can be found on our website under the news section or by calling 101 for advice. It might just be the best decision you ever make. Destroying these firearms will make us all safer.”

NABIS and police forces across the UK are working with partners such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force to ensure the surrender campaign is a success.

The Home Office has also lent its support to the campaign, which ties in with the important work going on as part of the Serious Violence Strategy to tackle crimes such as knife crime and gun offences.

If you know of anyone involved with illegal firearms call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111. Advice and support for young people is available @fearlessORG www.fearlessorg

If you are a licensed firearm holder who wants advice please contact us on 101. For more information about NABIS visit www.nabis.police.uk or follow us on Twitter @NABIS_UK #gunsurrender

For more information about the Home Office Serious Violence Strategy visit https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/03/03/fact-sheet-government-action-to-tackle-violent-crime/

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information about crime stats please visit www.ons.gov.uk (the next ONS firearms stats for England & Wales are due to be issued on 18 July 2019.