West Yorkshire Police Launch Weapons Surrender

19th January 2016

Stabbing victim Vincent Uzomah is backing a new West Yorkshire Police initiative giving people the chance to hand over guns and other weapons.

The weapons surrender, starting tomorrow (January 20) until January 30, involves police urging members of the public to hand in any weapons they hold including knives and offensive weapons

The initiative aims to avoid weapons getting into the wrong hands and provide members of the community with a safe place to dispose of firearms, ammunition, knives and other weapons they have.

Mr Uzomah, aged 51, of Leeds, is supporting the campaign and appealing for people to hand in any weapons so they are not used to cause injury to others.

He was working as a teacher at Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford in June last year when he was stabbed by a teenage boy*
He said: "Weapons are not toys, so please do not carry one. I nearly lost my life in the hand of a knife-carrying student in school, and my family was devastated. Our society is safer when you don't carry one, hand in any weapon in your possession today please".

During the campaign those surrendering firearms, ammunition knives and other offensive weapons will not face prosecution for simply possessing these weapons and they may wish to remain anonymous.

The initiative is being supported by the Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife campaign which aims to bring together anti-knife campaigners across the country to reduce the number of weapons on the streets and make communities safer.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: "While we continue to maintain a low number of recorded crimes involving guns, knives and other weapons, we take it extremely seriously.

"We had a good response to a similar campaign in November 2014 when more than 150 knives and other weapons were handed in. The safe removal of these items from the streets ensures they cannot be used for criminal activity or worse still to hurt or kill someone.

"We would urge members of the public to hand in any weapons at their local police station. Failure to do so would be a serious matter and could lead to some very serious charges."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I fully support this weapons surrender. It is reassuring to know that gun and knife crime remains low across the county, but I would urge people to take advantage of this surrender to hand in weapons they have that may be illegal and dangerous in the wrong hands.

"I am pleased to support such a worthwhile campaign and applaud Mr Uzomah for coming forward following his traumatic ordeal.

"This surrender which will hopefully lead to people in West Yorkshire being safer and feeling safer gives individuals a perfect opportunity to ensure the weapons are disposed of safely and ensures we are doing all we can to keep our communities safe and preventing potential crimes of the future."

Dr Edward Impey, Master of the Royal Armouries, said: "We value the relationship we have built with West Yorkshire Police throughout our last 20 years in Yorkshire, and we are delighted to be able to offer our expertise to support them with this initiative."

For more information please visit our webpage:http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/HandInYourWeapons

Police Stations taking part:

Elland Road Police Station, Elland Road, Leeds, LS11 8BU
8am - 10pm - Monday to Sunday
Weetwood Police Station, 300 Otley Road, Leeds, LS16 6RG
Open 8am - 6pm - Monday to Sunday,
Bradford South Police Station, Trafalgar House, Nelson Street, Bradford, BD5 0DX
8am - Midnight - Monday - Sunday
Keighley Police Station, Airedale House, Royd Ings Avenue, Keighley, BD21 4BZ
8am - Midnight - Monday - Sunday
Halifax Police Station, Richmond Close, Halifax, HX1 5TW
7am - 11pm - Monday - Sunday
Dewsbury Police Station, Aldams Road, Dewsbury, WF12 8AR
8am - 10pm - Monday - Sunday
Wakefield District Headquarters, Havertop Lane, Normanton, WF6 1FD
8am - Midnight - Monday - Sunday

Anyone with information about the illegal possession or use of firearms should contact West Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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