Hundreds of weapons handed in during weapons surrender (2 Dec 2014)

Ab3Hundreds of guns and knives have been handed in during the ten day West Yorkshire weapons surrender.

A total of 96 guns including pistols, shotguns, air rifles and ammunition were surrendered in police stations across the county between Thursday 20 and Sunday 30 November.

Various types of bladed instruments including Samurai Swords, Machetes, axes and cross bow bolts were also surrendered with a total of 162 taken off of the streets.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle said he was delighted with the result. "Gun and knife crime is thankfully very low in West Yorkshire and by taking all of these weapons away we have made it even more difficult for criminals to get hold of them.

"Every single item handed in is a victory for law abiding citizens as these are weapons that cannot now get into the hands of people who mean others harm.

"I am delighted with the response we had and it was better than we had even hoped for."

The 10-day weapons surrender followed a recent change in the law which made it illegal for certain people to hold antique weapons and was one of a number organised this year by police forces across the country.

Assistant Chief Constable Battle added: "We expected to have handed in antiques that had perhaps been gathering dust in someone's attic or so-called 'trophies of war' but others have been surrendered too.

"The 10-day surrender gave people the chance to hand in these weapons who, potentially through no fault of their own, were illegally owning them.

"People could hand in the weapons safe in the knowledge that they would not be prosecuted for the illegal ownership of them. The weapons we have handed in will now be tested to ensure they have not been involved in any criminal activity and then securely disposed of.

"Any weapons that are of historical significance will be given to the Royal Armouries museum."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "In supporting this weapons surrender I am pleased that it has yielded these results.

"It is reassuring to know that gun and knife crime remains low across the county, but I am pleased that people have taken advantage of this surrender to hand in weapons they have that may be illegal.

"Because of the changes they could have unknowingly been breaking the law by possessing such weapons and the surrender has given them a perfect opportunity to ensure the weapons are disposed of safely and has ensured that we are doing all we can to keep our communities safe and preventing potential crimes of the future."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "In supporting this weapons surrender I am pleased that it has yielded these results.

"It is reassuring to know that gun and knife crime remains low across the county, but I am pleased that people have taken advantage of this surrender to hand in weapons they have that may be illegal.

"Because of the changes they could have unknowingly been breaking the law by possessing such weapons and the surrender has given them a perfect opportunity to ensure the weapons are disposed of safely and has ensured that we are doing all we can to keep our communities safe and preventing potential crimes of the future."
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