Police urge public to hand in guns in firearms surrender (19 July 2019)

A two week firearms surrender is being launched across West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire Police is appealing to people to hand in their unwanted guns and items of ammunition between Saturday 20 July and Sunday 4 August, 2019. It is part of a national firearms surrender.

And officers are particularly keen to appeal to people who may know where guns are kept and if they want to keep their loved ones safe, to let the police know.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Mark Ridley of West Yorkshire Police recorded a video to publicise the surrender. It was filmed at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

Firearms cannot be handed in at the museum.

T/ACC Ridley said: "Many people still have illegal firearms in their house.

"They may not understand that holding such a weapon is illegal or they may have overlooked an antique gun gathering dust in the loft.

"But it is important that in the fight against gun crime we look to get as many illegal guns as we can off the streets.

"Surrendering illegally held firearms avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality.

"Likewise there may be people who know a loved and for some reason has a gun in the house and they therefore, quite understandably, fear for their safety and that of others in the property.

"I am appealing directly to those family members and members of the community who are aware of people who have illegally held guns to either get them to surrender the weapons or to contact Crimestoppers in confidence with any information. "What this two week surrender allows is for people to hand in the firearms without any fear of prosecution for possessing the gun.

"From 2016 - 2018 the number of firearms discharges has fallen across West Yorkshire but we are not complacent and are doing everything we can to reduce such crimes.

"This includes having dedicated resources to investigate firearms discharges and using gang injunctions to target those individuals caught up in the cycle of organised criminality which often includes the use of and access to illegal firearms.

"We are also carrying out proactive work to stop people getting involved in such criminality in the first place.

"This includes early intervention in schools - the Get Safe 'N' Away gang intervention programme has already been delivered to 3,000 young people across West Yorkshire and our work with St Giles Trust to identify people on the cusp of serious criminality who could benefit from a peer advisor programme to avoid a life of crime."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "Tackling serious violence across West Yorkshire is a key priority and an area of ongoing focus.

"Robust enforcement will always play an important role in confronting such activity and incidents, however, we are directly appealing to our communities for help with this national firearms surrender campaign.

"It is a chance for anyone in possession of illegal firearms, ammunition or related items do the right thing and hand them in before they can cause any harm.

"In addition to the surrender and proactive policing operations, my office is working with a range of partners to implement prevention and early intervention initiatives, including a Violence Reduction Unit, ensuring we are providing positive alternatives to people who are vulnerable to being drawn into a world of violence and serious crime which we know can end with devastating consequences for individuals, families and communities."

The police stations you can surrender your firearms are:

Leeds District HQ
Elland Road Police Station
Elland Road
LS11 8BU
8:00am - 10:00pm - Mon - Friday
08:00 - 20:00 Sat + Sun

Stainbeck Police Station
Stainbeck Lane
8:00am - 10:00pm - Mon - Friday
08:00 - 20:00 Sat + Sun

Bradford Police Station
Trafalgar House
Nelson Street
8:00am - 10:00pm - Mon - Friday
08:00 - 20:00 Sat + Sun

Keighley Police Station
Airedale House
Royd Ings Avenue
BD21 4BZ
8:00am - 10:00pm - Mon - Friday
08:00 - 20:00 Sat + Sun

Halifax Police Station
Richmond Close
8:00am - 10:00pm - Mon - Friday
08:00 - 20:00 Sat + Sun

Huddersfield Police Station
8:00am - 10:00pm - Mon - Friday
08:00 - 20:00 Sat + Sun

Dewsbury Police Station
Aldams Road
WF12 8AR
8:00am - 10:00pm - Mon - Friday
08:00 - 20:00 Sat + Sun

Wakefield District Headquarters
Havertop Lane
8:00am - 10:00pm - Mon - Friday
08:00 - 20:00 Sat + Sun

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019