Gun surrender campaign
Tuesday 16 Jul 2019
North Wales Police along with forces across the country are appealing for people to hand in unwanted guns with a two week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting on 20 July 2019.
Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.
The surrender gives people the chance to dispose of firearms or ammunition by simply taking them to a designated local police station and handing them over.
The surrender will run until 4th August 2019. 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 this period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous. However, the history of each live weapon will be checked for evidence of its use in crimes.
Detective Superintendent Steve Williams of North Wales Police said: “Given the large rural setting of our area, it may be that some people hold unlicensed firearms that have been handed down to them and may have concerns as to what to do with these weapons. There may also be people who, because of the change in legislation have a weapon they cannot legally hold. This surrender period allows them to dispose of these weapons in a manner that can allay such fears.
“Fortunately we do not have a significant gun crime problem in North Wales. However, we are not complacent about gun crime and we want as many guns surrendered as possible so I would encourage the public to come forward.”
This summer’s national campaign has a particular focus on firearms, stun gun type devices and pepper sprays. Police want to highlight the danger of these items and remind people they are illegal in this country and could lead to a prison sentence for anyone caught in possession.
Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan, National Police Chief’s Council lead for Criminal Use of Firearms, said; “The last national firearms surrender in 2017 was a success and potentially helped save lives. With the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy underway, we feel it is the right time to ask police forces to run another two week campaign to collect unwanted guns and ammunition. Each firearm we retrieve has the potential to save a life, so do the right thing and surrender your weapon.
“We also want to highlight that stun guns and similar devices are illegal in the UK and may not be brought in from abroad. They may be legal in some other countries, but if you are caught with one here you could be prosecuted with possession of a firearm and be put behind bars. This summer’s surrender is a good opportunity to hand in these types of devices.”
The surrender initiative is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS). The surrender will run for two weeks from Saturday 20 July to Sunday 4 August 2019.
Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Clews, Head of NABIS, added: “This is an important national campaign co-ordinated by NABIS. During the last decade our experts have provided police forces with ground breaking ballistic forensic services and intelligence packages to prevent and detect gun crime. Even though UK firearm offences remain at relatively low levels compared to other countries, we cannot be complacent and this surrender will help remove further potential harm from our communities.”
Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at the following police stations in North Wales – Wrexham, Mold, Rhyl, Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Caernarfon, Bangor and Holyhead. However if people are unable to visit any of these stations they are advised to contact North Wales Police on 101 to make alternative arrangements. For advice on how best to transport the weapon responsibly from home to their police station they are advised to phone 101 before travelling.
Designated stations and opening times
Wrexham Police Station at the former Oriel Gallery, Rhosddu Road LL11 1AU. (01978) 834321. 8.30am/7pm – Monday to Saturday & 9am/6pm – Sundays
Mold Police Station, King Street CH7 1EF (01352) 708405. 9am/1pm & 3pm/6pm Monday to Saturday
Rhyl Police Station, Wellington Road LL18 1DA (01745) 539409. 8.30am/7pm – Monday to Saturday & 9am/6pm - Sundays
Llandudno Police Station, Oxford Road LL30 1DN (01492) 805037. 9am/1pm & 3pm/6pm Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri & Saturday
Colwyn Bay Police Station, Rhiw Road LL28 7TE (01492) 805306.
9am/1pm & 3pm/6pm Mondays
Caernarfon Police Station, Maesincla Lane LL55 1BU. (01286) 670679. 9am/1pm & 3pm/6pm Mon, Wed, Fri & Saturday
Holyhead Police Station, 1 Stanley Street LL65 1HL. (01407) 724090.
9am/1pm & 3pm/6pm Tuesday & Thursdays