Police issue plea for guns and knives to be handed in

Una Jennings
Una Jennings

Guns and knives can be handed in at police stations in South Yorkshire for the next two weeks without people getting arrested for possession.

Police officers are allowing weapons to be dropped off at stations from today until Sunday, November 26.

Possessing a weapon normally carries a minimum five-year sentence for a firearm and up to four-years for a knife, but those who hand them in under the 'surrender' scheme will not be prosecuted.

Investigations will only be launched if tests reveal that the weapons have been used in crimes.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "Weapons in the wrong hands are deadly. One less weapon on the streets could be one life saved."

"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."

Detective Superintendent Una Jennings, armed criminality lead for South Yorkshire Police, said: “While we know individuals already involved in criminality will be unlikely to hand in any weapons, there will be people who will have been passed down an antique firearm by a family member, or have items such as samurai swords that may have previously been used for decoration in the home, and they are now no longer wanted.

“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.”

Det Supt Jennings added: “While South Yorkshire has seen an increase in the possession and use of weapons, as is the picture nationally, there are a vast array of both overt and covert operations already in progress across our county.

“I want to make it very clear that the use of weapons in South Yorkshire will not be tolerated and I’d urge you to please think of the life changing consequences just carrying a weapon can have.

“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.”