Published: 12:03, 18 July 2019
| Updated: 00:09, 20 July 2019
Police in Kent are taking part in a national campaign aimed at encouraging people to surrender unwanted firearms, stun guns and pepper sprays.
The two-week drive, which starts today, offers residents the opportunity to dispose of unwanted or illegally held guns and ammunition.
It will run until Sunday August 4.
During the campaign people are being reminded the possession of pepper spray and stun guns is illegal and these can be handed over to police during the surrender.
Ammunition can also be taken to nominated police stations where they can be disposed of.
This includes replica and antique firearms, air weapons, imitation firearms including BB guns, component parts, and other ballistic items.
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.
It is the second time the force has promoted a firearms surrender this year.
Between January 21 and February 6, 172 firearms and around 4,000 rounds of ammunition were handed in.
It gives people the chance to surrender firearms and not face prosecution for illegal possession and remain anonymous if they choose to.
Superintendent Mick Gardner, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said:
"This is a good opportunity to hand in devices such as stun guns and pepper sprays and stop them from getting into the wrong hands.
"As they are available to order online it is highly likely that there are a number of people who possess them and are completely unaware that it is a criminal offence to do so.
"In other cases there may be firearms that 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.
"This a good opportunity for those individuals to dispose of them without fear of being prosecuted for illegal possession.
"In handing over a firearm to us, you are preventing it from getting into the wrong hands and you could be saving someone's life.
"This is an excellent opportunity to remove potential harm to others and protect your community."
To check the opening times of the station you wish to visit www.kent.police.uk/your-area
Anyone wishing to dispose of unwanted firearms or ammunition who cannot attend the above stations should call 101 to arrange collection.
More by this authorGeoffrey Bew