811 weapons handed to police during two-week amnesty


More than 800 weapons have been handed to police forces across the North West region during a two-week "Give Up The Gun" firearms and ammunition surrender.

Police said they also received thousands of rounds of ammunition during the amnesty period which saw those surrendering weapons granted anonymity and immunity from prosecution for illegal possession.

Amnesties were held in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire, North Wales and Cumbria from April 4 to April 18 - two years on from the last firearms surrender in the region when hundreds of weapons were handed in.

There has been a spate of shootings in Salford in the past year, including the murder of so-called "Mr Big" Paul Massey outside his home last July.

A total of 811 weapons were surrendered across all six areas.

The haul included a number of live and deactivated weapons including rifles, shotguns, handguns and air weapons as well as some imitation and antique firearms.

A replica AK-47, a number of wartime relics and a Smith & Wesson pistol was amongst the weaponry.

In Greater Manchester, 221 weapons were handed over, with thousands of rounds of ammunition yet to be counted.

In Merseyside 140 were passed over, Lancashire, 139, North Wales, 91, Cheshire, 127 and in Cumbria, 93.

Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable John O'Hare declared it "a remarkable success".

He added: "I am delighted that we have managed to remove over 220 weapons from the streets of Greater Manchester.

"The surrender may be over, but our commitment to tackle gun crime is not. There will be continued efforts from GMP, our colleagues across the North West and our partners as we work together to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity."

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd thanked the people who came forward.

He said: "Guns bring devastation, causing serious injury, fatalities and misery to families and communities so every weapon and piece of ammunition taken off the street is to be welcomed. These weapons are now in safe hands and out of the hands of criminals.

"The success of the surrender sends out a clear message that guns have no place in our communities and while the surrender may be over, we will continue to work together with local people to achieve our ambition of safer, gun-free streets."

Members of the public can always hand weapons to the police, whether licence holders or otherwise.

If a weapon is discovered during a house clearance or inherited or found, trained staff are on hand to secure unwanted weapons.

People are advised to call their local police enquiry desk or 101 for assistance.