Published: 09:00, 18 January 2019
| Updated: 11:59, 18 January 2019
Kent Police is staging a two-week firearms surrender from next week.
The force is appealing for people to hand in unwanted or illegally held guns during a two week surrender of firearms and ammunition.
The two-week period begins at 9am on Monday, January 21 and ends at 5pm on Friday, February 1.
People can take firearms or ammunition to police stations near their homes where they can dispose of them.
This includes replica and antique firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, component parts and other ballistic items.
During this period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession and can remain anonymous.
Many firearms are held innocently with owners unaware of their illegality, or are overlooked heirlooms forgotten in people’s homes.
Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to threaten or harm communities.
Any firearm believed to be linked to criminal offences will be investigated in the usual manner.
The surrender is an opportunity to dispose of unwanted, unlicensed weapons in a safe place and avoid the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.
More than 300 guns were handed in to Kent Police during last year’s firearms surrender including a Second World War era pistol.
DCI Patrick Holmes said: "We are carrying out this two-week firearm surrender to encourage the public to hand in as many unwanted or unlicensed firearms as possible.
"The surrender is part of Kent Police’s ongoing work to tackle, disrupt and prevent violent crime across the county.
"By handing in a weapon being kept illegally you can help prevent it from 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, Margate, Canterbury, Tonbridge, Maidstone, North Kent, Medway and Sittingbourne.
People are advised to check the opening times of a station by clicking here before attending.
Individuals wishing to dispose of an unwanted firearms or ammunition who cannot attend the above stations should call 101 and collection will be arranged.
More by this authorLynn Cox