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Police to launch two-week amnesty on illegally-held guns

By KentOnline reporter

Anyone illegally holding firearms has two weeks to hand them in under a Kent Police amnesty.

The surrender begins at 8am on Monday and ends at 5pm on Sunday, November 26.

Members of the public can dispose of illegal or unwanted firearms or ammunition by taking them to a host of police stations in Kent.

Around 100 weapons were handed in last year. Picture Kent Police

Around 100 weapons were handed in last year. Picture: Kent Police

During the fortnight, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession and can remain anonymous.

A similar appeal last year saw 100 guns handed in.

A police spokesman said many firearms were held innocently, with owners unaware of their illegality, or were overlooked heirlooms.

Others were used by criminals to threaten or harm others.

This surrender is seen as an opportunity to dispose of unwanted, unlicensed weapons in a safe place and avoid the risk of them falling into the wrong hands. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Rob Fordham said: "This firearms surrender is part of a larger Kent Police operation, known as Operation Raptor, to tackle, disrupt and prevent violent crime and the possession of offensive weapons across the county.

Police are calling for anyone with an illegally-held weapon to surrender it during the next fortnight. Picture Kent Police

Police are calling for anyone with an illegally-held weapon to surrender it during the next fortnight. Picture: Kent Police

"During these two weeks we encourage the public to hand in as many unwanted or unlicensed firearms as possible.

"If you know where a weapon is being kept illegally, now is your chance to give it up or tell us anonymously where it is.

"You will not be prosecuted, you could prevent it falling into the wrong hands, and you could save a life."

During the surrender the public can hand firearms to the front counter at the following police stations:

Folkestone
Dover
Margate
Ashford
Canterbury
Sittingbourne
Tonbridge
Tunbridge Wells
Maidstone
Swanley

Check the opening times of a station by calling 101 or visiting the Kent Police website before attending. For opening times visit https://www.kent.police.uk/your-area/

Individuals wishing to dispose of an unwanted firearm or ammunition who cannot attend the above stations should call 101 and collection will be arranged.

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