West Yorkshire Police Weapons Surrender (1 Feb 2016)

A huge haul of guns and knives have been handed into West Yorkshire Police as part of its latest weapons surrender.

More than 150 bladed and offensive weapons and 80 guns were handed in at the county's police stations during the campaign launched earlier this month at the Royal Armouries in Leeds with the support of stabbing victim Vincent Uzomah.

Among the haul were an AK47 rifle handed in in Bradford and another AK47 rifle, surrendered in Kirklees.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams, of West Yorkshire Police, said:

"We are delighted with the response. Some of these weapons are clearly very dangerous. Now they will not find their way on to the streets of our communities. They will not be used for criminal activity or to hurt or at worse kill someone.

"While we continue to maintain a low number of recorded crimes involving guns, knives and other weapons, we take it extremely seriously which is why initiatives like this are held.

"Weapons surrenders like this are very important and even though we have had these handed in we cannot afford to be and will not be complacent. Over the weekend, for example, we had a firearms discharge in Huddersfield which is currently being investigated."

Mr Uzomah, aged 51, of Leeds,  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: "The response has been very impressive. Well done to those who responded to this noble call, and surrendered their weapons."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I have fully supported this weapons surrender and am pleased we have had so many weapons handed in.

"This surrender has given 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."

The weapons surrender involved police urging members of the public to hand in any weapons. It aimed 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.

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

The initiative was 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.

Dr Edward Impey, Master of the Royal Armouries, said "We are pleased that the museum was able to support West Yorkshire Police with this initiative and that it has generated such a strong response from the local community."

Breakdown of results by Policing district (alphabetically)

Bradford: 33 firearms and 26 bladed and offensive weapons

Calderdale: 3 firearms and 25 bladed and offensive weapons

Kirklees: 12 firearms and 22 bladed and offensive weapons

Leeds: 29 firearms and 82 bladed and offensive weapons

Wakefield: 4 firearms and 0 bladed and offensive weapons

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© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018