Twelve shotguns, an antique revolver and two crossbows are among the haul of weapons handed in so far as part of a firearms surrender on Merseyside.
The two-week surrender launched by Merseyside Police is part of a nationwide campaign by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) which ends this Sunday 29 May.
So far, the force has recovered 40 items including 13 working firearms, weapons and ammunition. Among the haul are:
• 12 shotguns
• 1 antique revolver
• 3 air rifles
• 2 imitation guns
• 7 blank firers
• 2 crossbows
• 1 sword
• 4 lots of ammunition
Throughout the campaign and all year round, officers are proactive in removing firearms from our streets in order to save lives and prevent serious injury.
Yesterday (Monday 23 May), officers recovered a live handgun while conducting an open land search on Fender Way in Birkenhead. This is now being made safe and will be forensically tested.
Further land searches are being carried out across Merseyside to find weapons concealed in overgrowth.
In addition, Firearms Licensing Team are visiting licence firearms holders, gun clubs and registered firearms dealers with more than 50 visits taking place so far to encourage those to surrender firearms that are not being used.
Last week a resident found a working firearm loaded with bullets behind their garden shed in Toxteth. The weapon is now being forensically tested.
Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Wilson said: “I am pleased to see that people are backing the campaign and it continues to gather momentum with more firearms being handed in and being discovered in concealed places hidden by criminals.
“The 13 working firearms, along with the ammunition, handed in means that they have been taken off our streets and cannot fall into the wrong hands.
“Even firearms that are in poor condition can still be adapted into a working firearm that can cause fear and harm. This is also the case with an imitation firearm because many members of the public wouldn’t know the difference between a BB gun or a more dangerous weapon if confronted with one.
“The whole purpose of this surrender is to give people the opportunity to dispose of weapons they no longer use or don’t want in their homes.
“We are not under any illusion that criminals will willingly hand over weapons, but we know that many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality.
“We continue to urge people to check your homes for firearms that have been forgotten about, look around your garden, under sheds and around plant pots for any weapons that could be hidden.
“Just call 101 for an officer to collect the firearm and dispose of it safely.”
Det Chief Insp Wilson added: “While we are taking part in this two-week national firearms surrender, our work to disrupt those who store, carry and use firearms in Merseyside goes on all year round. We will continue to carry out stop checks, warrants and land searched to take weapons off the streets and put offenders before the courts.”
To arrange an appointment for a firearm to be collected call police on 101, and this can be at a location of their choice.
Earlier this month, officers also recovered four working firearms – which were two self-loading pistols, a sub-machine gun and a sawn-off shotgun.
The number of discharges in Merseyside is the lowest figure for 21 years with 39 firearms discharges in the region in the year-ending March.