17th July 2014

Greater Manchester Police is appealing for people to 'Give up the Gun' with a two week amnesty for the surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting at 7am on Saturday 12 July.

It's been six years since the last firearms amnesty in Greater Manchester, where the force asks members of the public to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to help prevent them getting into the wrong hands.

Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people's homes. The amnesty gives holders the chance to dispose of the firearm or ammunition with no questions asked, by simply taking it to a local police station and handing it in.

The amnesty will be held for two weeks from Saturday 12 July at 7am to 11.59pm on Saturday 26 July. Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.

During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession and they can remain anonymous.

During the amnesty there will also be a change in legislation which will make it illegal for certain people to hold weapons such as antique firearms.

Detective Chief Inspector Debbie Dooley of Xcalibre Task Force said: "Gun crime in Manchester continues to fall year on year since the last amnesty we held in 2008.

"This is a result of continued efforts from the Force and our partners working together to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.

The last fatal gang shooting was Giuseppe Gregory in 2009, and the last fatal non-gang shootings were the tragic circumstances surrounding Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in 2012. These deaths, although not recent, are still far too many.

"We therefore want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to hand them in.

"Together with our partners we continually work hard to educate young people about firearms and the dangers that come with them, to ensure that gun crime doesn't become prevalent in the future.

Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at any police station but anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the amnesty is advised to check the opening times of their station by calling 101 or visiting the GMP website.

Greater Manchester's Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has spoken out in support of the amnesty:

"Greater Manchester has led the way in both reducing and sustaining the reduction in gun crime over several years. This is as a direct result of the police, public bodies such as local authorities, probation or youth offending services and, crucially, communities working together in a genuine partnership.

"But that doesn't mean we can be complacent. This year's amnesty shows that we won't stop trying to address this issue. Anyone in possession of a firearm should take this opportunity to hand it in without facing prosecution. It is simply the smart thing to do.

"I've seen first-hand the destruction that guns have caused to families and communities in our area. Every weapon removed from the streets potentially represents a life saved, or indeed many lives saved. So take this opportunity to do the right thing and get rid of that deadly weapon. This amnesty will help us realise our goal of having streets that are safe and free from guns".

Gary Murray from independent charity Crimestoppers said: "Crimestoppers is proud to back GMP's campaign to reduce the number of firearms in our community. We want the public to know that we take crime seriously and that, with their help, we can make Greater Manchester a safer place to live.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is offering a reward up to £1000 for information that leads to the recovery of a firearm and an arrest and conviction.


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