Mums, sisters and girlfriends urged to hand in weapons belonging to loved ones in Sheffield

Det Supt Una Jennings
Det Supt Una Jennings

Mums, sisters and girlfriends of boys and men who carry guns and knives are being handed in the weapons in a bid to save their lives.

Mums, sisters and girlfriends of boys and men who carry guns and knives in Sheffield are being urged to hand in the weapons in a bid to save their lives.

An appeal has been launched for guns and knives to be handed in at South Yorkshire police stations

An appeal has been launched for guns and knives to be handed in at South Yorkshire police stations

Detective Superintendent Una Jennings, South Yorkshire Police's lead officer for armed criminality, issued the plea on the day the force launched a two week weapon surrender scheme.

Between now and Sunday, November 26, guns and knives can be handed in at police stations without people being arrested for possession.

The weapons will be examined and if any are found to have been used in crimes, investigations will be launched.

Det Supt Jennings said she knows 'people involved in gangs are hardened criminals are unlikely to hand in their weapons' but she urged their loved ones to help make South Yorkshire a safer place.

She warned that the chance of being murdered increases if somebody carries a weapon themselves.

"Our appeal is to mothers, daughters and girlfriends - you know where they are and I know you want to keep your loved ones safe," said Det Supt Jennings.

"The chances of their son, brother or boyfriend being murdered doubles between the ages of 10 and 14, and again between 15 and 16 and 16 and 19.

"I'm appealing to these women for their support."

She said the use of weapons 'will not be tolerated' and those carrying a gun or a knife 'should expect to be challenged,' arrested and prosecuted.

The senior detective also warned that possessing a weapon carries a minimum five-year sentence for a firearm and up to four-years for a knife.

She said there has been a 6.9 per cent increase in the use of weapons in South Yorkshire over the last year, mirroring a national trend.

But she warned that a number of 'proactive operations' would be carried out alongside the weapon surrender scheme to rid the streets of guns and knives.

"One firearm or gun enabled crime is one too many," she added.

"It changes the lives of those involved forever."

She added: "The aim of the surrenders is to avoid weapons getting into the wrong hands and being used in crime, and provide members of the community with a safe place to dispose of them."

“The surrender provides the perfect opportunity to safely dispose of these weapons and to prevent them from ending up on the streets and falling into criminals hands, which only brings destruction and devastation to our communities.

“I would strongly encourage people to please take advantage of the surrender and hand in any weapon that is unwanted or illegally owned; every gun and knife given up is one less that can end up in criminal circulation, and can potentially save a life.”