Posted on 4th November 2014
A county-wide firearms surrender in which police are asking people to give up any weapons or ammunition they have has seen more than 100 guns handed in.
Operation Thunder started on Monday, October 27 and aims to reduce the number of guns in circulation across Derbyshire.
The surrender, which runs until Friday, means people can safely dispose of any guns or ammunition that they no longer want, do not need, or should not have in the first place.
They can be handed in at police stations across Derbyshire.
Within hours of the surrender operation launching, three starting pistols were handed in, as well as a BB gun, an air pistol and 20 rounds of ammunition from a French Army issue World War Two era rifle.
After one week, police have had a total of 107 firearms and several hundred rounds of ammunition handed in.
These include a stun gun, a .410 bore and a 12 bore shotguns, an ornamental shotgun, air rifles, dozens of pistols and starter pistols and more than 20 toy BB guns. A deactivated grenade was also handed in during the first week.
T/Chief Inspector Shaun Skelton said: “We have had a fantastic response from the public in the first week of the gun surrender.
“The volume of firearms of all types, along with the ammunition we have had handed in, shows just how invaluable surrender operations such as this can be.
“It doesn’t matter if the firearms are real, imitations, antiques, or fully licensed guns that the licence holder no longer needs – we want them all to be handed in.
“Every weapon that we have received is one less that a criminal can get their hands on and use to commit crime.
“By taking these guns out of circulation, we are helping to keep communities in Derbyshire safe from gun crime.”
The 12-day surrender is part of a nationwide focus aimed at reducing the number of guns in public circulation, and follows a recent change in the law that prohibits persons with suspended sentences possessing firearms and ammunition and relates to changes concerning the possession of antique firearms.
In July, changes were made to the Firearms Act 1968 that placed greater restrictions on who can legally possess firearms or ammunition.
These changes include persons who have received custodial sentences of between three months and three years, regardless of the offence, who are now prohibited from possessing any kind of firearm or ammunition for five years. Offenders who are sentenced to three years or more are prohibited for life.
Now, the same rule applies to anyone with a suspended sentence of three months or more.
There have also been changes to the law surrounding firearms that are classed as antiques, which can be possessed without a certificate if they are classed as a ‘curiosity or ornament’.
The changes also include anyone with a suspended or custodial sentence of between three months and three years who is now prohibited from possessing ‘antique’ firearms for five years. Anyone with a sentence of three years or more is prohibited from having antique firearms for life.
The surrender means people can dispose of these items in a safe place. During the surrender, people handing in guns can remain anonymous. The history of each live weapon will be checked for evidence of its use in crime and if they have not been used in criminality, they will be melted down or recycled.
People can hand in firearms at the following police enquiry offices:
Derby and South Derbyshire:
St Mary’s Wharf, Prime Parkway, Derby
City Centre office, Market Place, Derby
Cotton Lane Police Station, Cotton Lane, Derby
Ilkeston Police Station, Heanor Road, Ilkeston
Long Eaton Police Station, Midland Street, Long Eaton
Pear Tree Police Station, Pear Tree Road, Derby
Swadlincote Police Station, Civic Way, Swadlincote
Chesterfield, Amber Valley, Bolsover and Clay Cross
Chesterfield Police Station, New Beetwell Street, Chesterfield
Ripley Police Station, Wyatt’s Way, Ripley
Clay Cross Police Station, Pilsley Road, Danesmoor
Bolsover Police Station, at the Bolsover District Council offices, Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover
Derbyshire Dales and High Peak
Buxton Police Station, Silverlands, Buxton
Bakewell Police Station, Granby Road, Bakewell
Ashbourne Police Station, Compton Road, Ashbourne
Glossop Police Station, Ellison Street, Glossop
Matlock Police Station, Bank Road, Matlock.
Anyone wanting to attend one of these locations to hand in a firearm during the surrender should call 101 to find out the opening times of their nearest station.
For more information on the changes to the law, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/provisions-108-111-of-the-anti-social-behaviour-crime-and-policing-act-2014